California lawmakers reintroduce amended zero bail bill in waning days of session.

via thecentersquare:

(The Center Square) – With California’s legislative session set to end Aug. 31, lawmakers this week resurrected a last-minute proposal to reform the state’s bail system. 

The proposal, contained in Senate Bill 262, would prohibit the “costs relating to the conditions of release on bail from being imposed on persons released on bail or their own recognizance,” according to the bill text.

The bill would also require a court to return money paid to a bail bond licensee on behalf of the arrestee if the case is dismissed or no charges against the arrestee are filed within 60 days. The measure allows a bail bond licensee to retain a surcharge of 10%, meaning an arrestee could get back 90% of their money if a case is dismissed and charges aren’t filed within the deadline.

In April 2020, the California Judicial Council established a policy to set bail at zero for most misdemeanor and low-level felonies to keep the jail population low during the pandemic, as reported by ABC7. The council voted to end that policy in June 2020.

Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, the author of SB 262, had previously introduced the measure in January 2021 to require an affordable bail for many offenses. Hertzberg ultimately decided to shelve the measure after the murder of 61-year-old Kate Tibbitts in Sacramento last September. Tibbitts was raped and murdered in her Sacramento home. The accused killer, Troy Davis, had a past criminal history and was released on zero bail for a June 2021 car theft, according to KCRA. Davis also accused of killing Tibbitts’ dogs and setting her home on fire. 

Three days earlier: California county saw 70% of criminal suspects released on $0 bail commit new crimes.

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h/t SG


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