• “In this country, you are innocent until proven guilty and—unless you are a danger to others or highly likely to flee the jurisdiction—you shouldn’t have to sit in jail waiting for your court date. This is the basic premise of due process: you get to hold on to your liberty unless and until a jury convicts you and a judge sentences you. It’s why the Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits excessive bail. That’s what justice is supposed to look like. What it should not look like is the system we have in America today. The median bail in the United States is $10,000. But in American households with an income of $45,000, the median savings account balance is $2,530. The disparity is so high that at any given time, roughly nine out of ten people who are detained can’t afford to pay to get out. By its very design, the cash bail system favors the wealthy and penalizes the poor. If you can pay cash up front, you can leave, and when your trial is over, you’ll get all of your money back. If you can’t afford it, you either languish in jail or have to pay a bail bondsman, which costs a steep fee you will never get back.”

Advertisement

Topics

Advertisement

Advertisement