Gov. Brown Signs Bail Reform Bill

Gov. Brown Signs Bail Reform Bill

In addition to supporting MMJ use in schools, Golden State lawmakers advanced a bill to ban the mixing of alcohol with cannabis products, responding to the popularity of CBD cocktails in California bars and restaurants.

"Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly", Gov.

Almost forty years ago, a governor of California in his State of the State address "urged the Legislature to take on bail reform ... calling it a 'tax on poor people.'" That was Jerry Brown, who yesterday, near the end of his fourth non-consecutive term in office, finally had the opportunity to sign a bill abolishing cash bail in the state.

Brown honored the pledge he made a year ago to work with the Democrat-controlled legislature and Supreme Court Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to pass the reform before leaving office in January, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Our old system of money bail was outdated, unsafe, and unfair", Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement. The change, which will take effect in October 2019, goes further than any other state in the country to remove money from pretrial detention. The new law grants broad discretion to judges to hold or release defendants.

The bill signed Tuesday will replace bail with a risk-assessment system, although it's still unclear how the system will work.

The Judicial Council is the policy-making body for California's courts. Instead, counties will follow a pretrial risk assessment of a person before releasing them. On Monday, state legislators passed a bill that would make it legal for parents to visit school grounds and administer cannabis medication to their children.

"SB 10 is not the model for pretrial justice and racial equity that California should strive for".

"It can not guarantee a substantial reduction in the number of Californians detained while awaiting trial, nor does it sufficiently address racial bias in pretrial decision making", leaders of three American Civil Liberties Union chapters in California said in a joint statement. "Indeed, key provisions of the new law create significant new risks and problems", the ACLU's Abdi Soltani, Hector Villagra, and Norma Chávez Peterson said in the statement. "Risk assessment tools are prone to racial, gender, and socio-economic bias, because they rely on criminal justice data", stated the Essie Justice Group.

California's new law is the latest development in the nationwide debate over bail, which many people say unfairly punishes people for being poor.

The new law gives judges wide latitude to decide what to do with other suspects based on their likelihood of returning to court and the danger they pose to the public.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), a co-author of SB 10, called the signing of the bill a step toward correcting a fundamental injustice.

The revised bill sailed through the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 16 and advanced to the Assembly floor on the August 20, just after the amendments were adopted.

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