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Jail Cell

Source: JEFF HAYNES / Getty

California got it right, or did they? No more cash bail for people awaiting trial who have been charged with a crime. Could it be that people who are facing charges will have a more fair chance of being free while awaiting their court date?  Well, let’s talk about it because I need some clarification on a few things. So let’s get right to it, shall we? First of all, California is the only state in the country to completely get rid of the cash bail system thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 10. The cash bail system will be replaced by a judge who will assess the charges and assign the charge a risk level of low, medium or high based on the threat to society and flight risk.  This is supposed to give poor people the same opportunity to be set free until their court date as someone charged with a crime who CAN make bail.

Now, this sounds good in theory but this is my concern. I’m afraid that this may potentially subject minorities to be brought up on more serious offenses instead of small infraction to increase risk level. If this happens then that’s basically the same difference, am I right?  Secondly, I’m not a fan of a judge having more power than they already have. Whose to say the judge will make a fair assessment? What is considered fair anyway? That is something that is purely subjective. Here’s a  rhetorical question for you; Would you feel better scraping up bail money or standing in front of a judge who happens to think that perhaps someone wearing dreads, someone with baggy pants or someone with black skin looks like a threat to society. I think you know the answer to that. I hate to cast dispersion on Senate Bill 10 but I’m really torn with this issue. Perhaps it’s the lesser of two evils. The reform takes effect in October 2019. Only time will tell. Thoughts?