Publicly Funding Secured Bail for Indigent Defendants
August 13, 2016
The Department of Justice has come out and said "The Fourteenth Amendment Prohibits Incarcerating Individuals Without Meaningful Consideration Of Indigence And Alternative Methods Of Achieving A Legitimate Government Interest" and "Bail Systems That Keep Indigent Defendants In Jail Solely Because They Cannot Pay Bail Result In Unnecessary Pretrial Detention And Impede The Fair Administration Of Justice." What then is the solution to this problem? Shall we release everyone who is not a danger and flight risk? That is already possible. The Court sets a bail amount "to safeguard the courts role in adjudicating the guilt or innocence of defendants." Without this safeguard defendants will fail to appear and when they get arrested years later it will be nearly impossible for the District Attorney to prosecute. No doubt the Court is greatly burdened with a a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between releasing the defendant on conditions that are not proven to be the best or not aide indigent defendants in fair administration of justice.
Perhaps the solution is to publicly fund secured bail for those indigent defendants. How do we make such solution possible? Perhaps through the County who pays $100 a day to house a defendant at the Detention Center will be willing to fund a one time $100 bail fee. The results will be a system that assures a defendants court appearance and protects the right to bail for indigent defendants.