ABA Journal


Criminal Justice

Prosecutors and defense lawyers agree: state bail process needs an overhaul

Feb 8, 2013, 07:30 pm CST


I think the Judge is trying to do the right thing in this matter but has not properly anticipated the political forces at work. It might be the socially responsible thing to do letting the poor and non-violent out, but it is too easy to gain political capital by opposing it. The Judge should seek the outcome of releasing the non-violent on bail but the method to achieve it should be done in a different way.

One possible alternative is making the argument that it is a cost saving policy. It could save the tax payers "x" amount of dollars by not sustaining these non-violent offenders. Thus by opposing the measure the politicians appear to be in favor of wasteful spending.

Another alternative it to humanize the subjects. Allow them to tell their stories and publicize it. It is far to easy for the public to slap a label on those who break the law and dehumanize them. They have dreams, aspirations, and families like the rest of us. Anyone who has seen Les Miserable should understand, especially since it is not so much a fictional story. Our justice system and society's treatment of those who commit violations are far too harsh in many cases. Further it is far to easy to gain popularity with others by being harsh against such individuals.

I hope those pushing this reform will retain the talented support of those who can think outside the box and who understand the external forces at work so the can be successful in this reform.

By legaltruth on 2013 02 09, 6:33 pm CST

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