I keep thinking, “Oh! Wait! I’ll write about that today!” Then I open the word doc and lose the thought or think it’s just too negative to write about. It’s one of those days!
Here’s what I’m going with today. It’s a comment I made on Facebook to a friend. We were talking about the new bill in California to do away with bail.
I’m not sure about this. Bail is also set on your circumstances, higher bail for higher flight risk and financial ability. I don’t think this bill will really help anyone. All it does is put bail bonds people out of work. That’s a lot of money out of the economy, bail money doesn’t go to the court unless you skip it. But the bill does help poor people not have to pay a bail bondsman to be out of jail while waiting for trial.
My experience? I was accused of a violent crime and my bail was set at $50K. I had three choices: stay in jail until trial (which would have been one year away from my babies and without working my job), get the bail money and get it back when I get to court, or take a bail loan from a bondsman and lose 10% of that money when I go to court.
$5K is a lot of money to lose along with paying for a lawyer. We were lucky enough to have family that could loan us the bail and not charge interest.
So, I can see why eliminating monetary bail would be a positive…but…this bill is so vague about how they will keep people from skipping court instead of having to return for their money. Like I said, they already set a bail amount by judging your flight risk and the accusations against you, whether or not you might hurt someone else while waiting for trial or influence the case against you.
And then later on in the conversation, this thought came to me.
The easier you make it to for the police and courts to convict a criminal, the harder you make it for the innocent to acquit themselves of the accusations made against them. That’s when you have people with more money getting a better deal than the poor. AND the court only counts an arrest as good if someone is convicted, not if the crime stops or is solved. It doesn’t matter who goes to jail, just that someone does.
It’s not that police and the justice system are evil, it’s that we’ve lost sight of their purpose and that they are fallible. And we’ve lost sight of the reasons for our rights.
I’d rather see a criminal go free than an innocent in jail. It’s hard but it’s the way she goes.