As of Oct. 1, 2019, cash bail will be eliminated in California, making it the first state in history to get rid of cash bails. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill Aug. 21 and to replace the cash bail, there will be risk assessments. Authorities will assess a suspect’s likelihood of attending court date, chances of getting arrested again, and level of risk to public safety. California hopes to remove the enormous gap between the poor and the rich. I think signing this bill was a great move and has my full support.
“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” said Brown.
I think this was a big improvement to the legal system. I’ve seen a lot of cases in the world news where more privileged rich people were able to avoid staying in jail by paying the cash bail. Also, having risk assessment will reduce the amount of dangerous suspects being released. Abolishing cash bails will also eliminate racial disparities.
Since California is the first state to eliminate cash bail, I hope there will be more states in the future that will follow along.
One such example of a privileged person abusing cash bail is Harvey Weinstein. After charged with multiple accounts of rape, he was put on $1 million bail. Obviously, he could pay that and got out of jail; however, not everyone is as rich as he is. There was a woman in Oakland that was arrested named Cheryl Diston. She was given a bail but couldn’t afford it. She served 10 months in jail. While she was in jail, her grandmother died, missed her son’s wedding, and her niece was murdered. She was in jail longer than Weinstein because he was able to afford the bail, while she couldn’t.
Eliminating cash bail in California was a good idea and is a step towards equality between the classes.