Bill to Make California First State to End Bail Before Trial - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Bill to Make California First State to End Bail Before Trial

The bill will replace bail with a risk-assessment system, although it's still unclear how the system will work

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    5 Stylish Home Updates That Make the Biggest Difference
    Alex Wong/Getty Images
    File image of Gov. Jerry Brown

    California will become the first state to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The bill will replace bail with a risk-assessment system, although it's still unclear how the system will work. It will take effect in October 2019.

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

    Each county will use the council's framework as a basis to set its own procedures for deciding whom to release before trial, potentially creating a patchwork system based on where a suspect lives.

    Trump Celebrates Mueller Report as Democrats Plan Next Step

    [NATL] Trump Celebrates Mueller Report as Democrat Lawmakers Plan Next Step

    President Donald Trump celebrated the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russia collusion today, but Democrats say this story isn't over and are already talking about their next step. The report, which totals over 400 pages, neither condemns nor exonerates the president.

    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)

    Most suspects arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors will be released within 12 hours of being booked under the new law. Those facing serious, violent felonies will not be eligible for pretrial release.

    The legislation gives officials 24 hours to determine whether other suspects should be released before trial. That time can be extended by 12 hours if necessary.

    Some criminal justice reform advocates worry defendants will spend weeks in jail while their lawyers try to prove they deserve to be set free.

    Opponents of the legislation say it gives judges too much power. Some worry dangerous people will go free and won't return for trial.

    Supporters, including the Judicial Council headed by the state Supreme Court's chief justice, say the change will end the unfair practice of imprisoning people simply because they are poor. Incarceration should instead depend on the risk a defendant poses if they are released, they argue.

    Other states such as New Jersey and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems, although neither state has completely eliminated bail.

    Key Moments From Barr's Presser Prior to Report Release

    [NATL] Key Moments From AG Barr's Press Conference Prior to Redacted Mueller Report's Release

    Attorney General William Barr addressed the media prior to his department's release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report to Congress.

    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)

    The Judicial Council is the policy-making body for California's courts. It creates rules and procedures to ensure consistency across the state.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android