Nebraska Criminal & Trial Lawyers
Bi-Partisan Bill to End Bail in Senate

Bi-Partisan Bill to End Bail in Senate

Those who have been arrested in Nebraska may understand the financial toll a bail bond can take. Two U.S. senators are attempting to end the practice that they say is unfairly jailing people for being poor.

According to the New York Times, Senators Kamala Harris (D. CA) and Rand Paul (R. KY) are proposing a measure that would end bail and determine detainment on other risk factors. Their bill would give grant money to local jurisdictions to fund the necessary pre-trial detainment of some defendants while preventing the majority of defendants from being held before their trials. Some defendants are held in jail for months or years awaiting trial because they cannot pay, and then they are found innocent. Even a few days behind bars can cause someone to lose their job. Since bail amounts are sometimes outsized for the crime and black men have their bail set 35 percent higher than white men for similar crimes, which has convinced the senators that reforming the system is of the utmost importance. 

As the USA Today reports, keeping a defendant behind bars can hinder their ability to collect evidence in their case, which may encourage innocent people to plead guilty in order to avoid a longer sentence. Those states who seek the grant money from the Department of Justice would have to follow specific parameters, including releasing 85 percent of the people who are awaiting trial. This could dramatically decrease the population of those in jail, as California, for example,  has 62 percent of the people currently in their jails awaiting a trial. 


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