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|February 27, 2018 ||
New Jersey Bail Reform, A Successful Lie.
Since the inception of our country, bail bonding is the private sector tool to
balance the rights of the accused with the needs of societal justice by
guaranteeing the appearance of defendants at trial while giving an opportunity for
those defendants to be released with some financial surety. The fear of a
revocation of a bond, which leads defendants to be held in jail, deters re-offense
and encourages good behavior while on bond. Unfortunately, since the passage
and implementation of the bail reform act in New Jersey, the preference of the
criminal has taken precedence over the safety of the public. This once effective
deterrent to re-offense has gone away.
A recently issued report on the bail reform law, by administrating Judge Glenn
Grant, shows how misplaced this priority has become. The report touts the law as
a success in that the number of defendants being held pre-trial has dropped by
almost 20% over the past year. Proclaiming this result as a success while ignoring
the skyrocketing increase of crime and Failure to Appear rates shows the intention
of the law was only to get more criminals released in a desperate attempt to cut
costs (which the report shows is not happening). This asinine assessment of the
law is tantamount to declaring a drop in the crime rate after legalizing murder
then selling that as a success.
As foolish as that sounds, Judge Grant's assessment matches this level of
absurdity with disastrous consequences. This law has been successful only in the
mass release of criminals with no accountability, no financial stake in appearing
for trial, no deterrent to re-offend, and little chance of being caught when they do
re-offend. The only results of these "successes" are the increased crime, Failure to
Appear rates, and the victimization of law-abiding citizens.
National crime data provided by the FBI shows that only 18% of property crimes
committed in the United States are cleared by arrest or other final action. Two
categories of property crimes which affect law-abiding citizens the most, car theft
and burglary, are only cleared 13% of the time. When it comes to violent crimes,
only 46% are cleared. Disturbingly, however, under the category of violent
crimes, which include rape and sexual assault, only 36% of those are cleared.
New Jersey has successfully unleashed, on its citizens, criminal elements who
know they are likely not to get caught. If they are caught, they know they will be
rereleased. This "success" led Assemblyman Bob Andrezjek to proclaim in a
letter to California Speaker of the House Rendon that "this law is victimizing
citizens every day."
The great lie of bail reform (non-monetary release) is that dangerous criminals would not be
released. Unfortunately for the citizens of New Jersey, this has been proven false with deadly and
hazardous consequences. Early 2017, in Little Egg Harbor, a convicted child sex predator was
arrested on new charges stemming from an attempt to lure a 12-year-old girl to his house for sex
in exchange for a game console. He was released under the bail reform law. Christian Rogers
was shot to death in cold blood and with no provocation. This occurred in the middle of the day
near his home by a man released a few days earlier as a result of the bail reform law. This man
had an extensive criminal history including gun charges and current charges relating to guns.
These are but a few examples which represent the deadly and dangerous consequences of this
The other great lie of non-monetary release policies is that the mass release of these criminals
leads to a cost reduction from not housing these people in jail pre-trial. The report shows that this
has been a failure as well. Judge Grant states that there is not enough stable funding to pay for
the administration of the system. Furthermore, monitoring services can't be expanded because of
a lack of funds. When a defendant posted a monetary or surety bond, the defendant paid for it,
and the costs associated with monitoring and accountability were borne by the private sector.
Taxpayers are now paying for the release of these criminals. The taxpayers are paying for their
victimization through the increase in crime, and the taxpayers are funding the rise in Failure to
A recent study by the Regional Economic Studies Institute, based out of Towson University and
led by 22-year economics expert Dr. Darius Irani, shows that the yearly operating cost of the bail
reform law will top $379 million. After deducting the presumed savings from not housing
defendants pre-trial the cost comes to $215 million. The study found over $17 million in startup
costs, mostly borne by the counties, and estimated indirect costs of $65 million per year.
The New Jersey legislature and former Governor Christie stabbed the people of New Jersey with
a law that is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, one which results in skyrocketing
crime and Failure to Appear rates. All of this and an administrating judge is stating it as a
"success" because more criminals are being released from jail than ever before. The famous
movie quote "stupid is as stupid does" applies to those ruling in New Jersey. Now is the time for
the citizens of New Jersey to stand up to this dangerous absurdity by their elected officials and
demand this law be repealed.
For more than a decade, most of Harris County's felony court judges directed magistrates to deny no-cash bail to all newly arrested defendants, in apparent violation of state judicial conduct rules, according to internal documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle. The documents include charts with explicit court-by-court instructions from 31 district judges to reject all requests for no-cash bonds when defendants made initial appearances in court.
More than a week has passed since the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a much-anticipated court ruling in O'Donnel v. Harris County, in which justices reaffirmed a lower court's ruling that the cash bail system works for the rich but not the poor.
"The wealthy arrestee is less likely to plead guilty, more likely to receive a shorter sentence or be acquitted, and less likely to bear the social costs of incarceration," Judge Edith Brown Clement wrote in the appellate opinion.
San Francisco Chronicle
The case of Kenneth Humphrey, the man who stole $5 and a bottle of cologne then couldn't make his $350,000 bail, is by now well known. But for the wrong reasons.
Humphrey's case, which found its way to a state appeals court in January, is being misused as an example of a broken bail system. It instead reveals the failing of mental health services, substance abuse treatment and speedy trial protections. Not bail.
When he took his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Gavin Newsom wasn't exactly the left-leaning stalwart who would emerge two decades later as the front-runner for California governor.
Newsom's appointment in 1997 was viewed as providing a dose of moderation to the liberal board. A 29-year-old wine and hospitality entrepreneur backed by Getty oil fortunes and the city's political elite, he described himself as a "dogmatic fiscal conservative and a social liberal."
If you're a fan of intense, crime dramas, then Netflix's newest anthology series Seven Seconds (executive producer: Veena Sud) may be the one for you.
The 10-episode series explores the events following an accidental hit-and-run involving a black teen and a white cop. And seeking justice for the victim's family is a determined prosecutor named KJ Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey), whose own personal connection to tragedy keeps her on her toes.
New York Law Journal
An upstate federal judge has rebuked immigration judges who set high bail amounts on asylum-seeking immigrants held in Batavia, New York, ruling that the detainees' ability to make payment must be considered when setting their release conditions.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford of the Western District of New York has also declared that immigration judges must consider alternatives to cash bail when arranging for the release of the asylum-seekers.
Santa Barbara Independent
Detainees behind bars at Santa Barbara (California) County Jail have a few options. They could, for example, call Mcguire Brothers Enterprises, Biker Bail Bonds, or Bail Hotline. In the future, though, they may not need to call any of them.
A California appeals court in January ruled the cash bail system unconstitutional because underprivileged defendants languish in jail before ever being convicted of a crime.
The Florida Legislature is considering sweeping criminal justice reform measures that have come under fire by the bail bond industry, but the sponsor of one of the bills said that he is "not in the business of making bail bondsmen money."
"They are in the business of writing bonds, and their business will go down if more people get diverted to civil citations," said Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Pinellas County Republican.
Philadelphia's top prosecutor said his office will stop jailing people who cannot afford to pay cash bail in minor criminal cases, affirming the commitment of the country's fifth-largest city to a national movement that argues the practice targets poor Americans.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said his decision to instruct city prosecutors not to seek a bail payment in a number of misdemeanor and non-violent felony crimes will correct a criminal justice system that discriminates against African-Americans, Latinos and poor people.
Members of the House of Delegates approved a measure that seeks to change guidelines for how magistrates in West Virginia set bond in certain misdemeanor cases.
House members approved House Bill 4511 by a margin of 94-4 and sent it to the Senate. The bill would more clearly define when magistrates should set a property or financial bail for defendants in misdemeanor cases, and when they should release defendants on their personal recognizance while their cases are pending in the court system.
Illinois News Network
Bail reform was enacted at the start of the new year in Illinois, with changes in how bond is set.
The new law requires courts to consider circumstances of a detainee, and aims to release defendants without requiring that they post a cash bail if they do not pose a threat or are a flight risk.
"It emphasizes that there are certain categories of crime where the presumption is for no cash bond to be posted," Gary Farha, the Adams County state's attorney, said.
A proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to drastically change the state's laws regarding bail for accused criminals has drawn praise from some and concern from others in the criminal justice system.
Cuomo's proposed 2018-19 budget includes reforms to bail practices as well as other court procedure changes, mirroring bail changes in other states.
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