Tuesday, February 19, 2019

TX bail-reform momentum growing amidst supportive press

Source: SA Express-News
In San Antonio, bail companies openly advertise to defendants that they should reject "personal bonds" and use bail bondsmen instead to avoid court fees, in-person check ins, and drug testing. That's pretty brash, for a group trying to convince the Texas Legislature that they're in the business of protecting public safety!

Here are several items anyone tracking the Texas bail debate will want to have read:
The Express News story mentioned a tidbit I hadn't heard. The appointed attorney for Janice Dotson-Stephens - the schizophrenic grandmother who died in the Bexar County jail over the holidays - never once visited her in the five months she sat in jail on a $300 misdemeanor bond. Asked if the attorney, Jerry Valdez, faced any sanction for this failure, County Court at Law Judge John Longoria, who is leading the charge to oppose bail reform, told the paper, "I am a little embarrassed that we haven’t looked into it for more detail.” As in Travis County where judges are opposing new state funding for indigent defense because they prefer not to have a public defender, apparently Bexar County judges cannot be embarrassed into reform.

The Filter story describes Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner's bail reform efforts. Here is the list of offenses for which his office no longer requests cash bail:

RELATED: On the January episode of our Reasonably Suspicious podcast, my co-host Mandy Marzullo and I discussed the various federal bail-reform lawsuits around the state. It's the top story, starting at the 1:58 mark.

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