California governor signs landmark bill to eliminate cash bail

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Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) signed into law a bill that will eliminate the bail system for those awaiting trial.

The California bill will take effect on October 1, 2019. In turn, each county will use the council's outline as a basis to set its own procedures for requirements to release a suspect before trial.

The Times reported that Republican Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) said that eliminating bail would put a big financial burden on California's 58 counties, and expects that SB 10 will be overturned in constitutional challenges in the courts. "It is expensive, [and] threatening to public safety".

California will no longer have a bail system for suspects awaiting trial beginning next year, after Democratic Gov. "I think Californians can feel secure this will improve public safety".

The California Money Bail Reform Act, also known as Senate Bill 10, passed in the State Senate with a vote of 26-12, and the General Assembly by 42-31.

Civil liberties and human rights groups have long called for reforming the bail system, which has its roots in medieval England, but some of them opposed the California bill.

Still, she's concerned about some loopholes such as with DUIs where there can be injuries and "devastation". They think that this is going to actually result in more people being detained pretrial, and they have concerns about biases that exists within the court system.

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'Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly, ' Brown said. Other states including New Jersey, Alaska and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems, although no other state has completely eliminated bail.

"[Senate Bill 10] sets up a system that allows judges almost unlimited discretion to order people accused of crimes, but not convicted and presumptively innocent, to be held in jail with no recourse until their case is solved", wrote a delegation of criminal justice reform advocates to the governor.

"This is a bill that has confused a lot of people because it does do something very positive, which is to end the bail industry", she said.

Such arguments are playing out in New Mexico after a judge made a decision to allow the release of several members of an extended family accused of child abuse at a desert compound.

The ACLU and California progressives pointed to bail injustices revealed in a New York City Criminal Justice Agency study that found non-felony conviction rates jumped from 50 to 92 percent for those jailed pre-trial, while the felony rate jumped from 59 to 85 percent.

Brown's signature gives the state's Judicial Council broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies.

It gives officials 24 hours to determine whether a suspect should be released before trial.