By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón yesterday spoke out against money bail, on the day the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the system.
(A story on the arguments appears separately.)
Gascón, who issued a directive on Dec. 7, his first day in office, ordering deputies not to seek bail where a defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or a non-violent and non-serious felony, said in a statement released by his office:
“Money bail is as unjust as it is unsafe. It allows wealthy people who are dangerous to purchase their freedom while those without means who pose no risk to public safety languish in jail awaiting trial. There is no evidence that cash bail provides a sufficient incentive necessary for people to return to court. But, there is evidence that the inability for people to obtain money for bail leads to them losing their jobs, homes and access to treatment while separating them from their children. It can destroy families and it weakens our communities.
“In addition, cash bail undermines a central principle of the judicial system: The presumption of innocence. There is no objective rationale for caging people who pose no danger to our community and have not been found guilty of a crime because they do not have the means to buy their freedom. Pretrial detention has been shown to pressure many to plead guilty to crimes simply to secure their release. That is an injustice of epic proportions that we must cure here in Los Angeles.”
Copyright 2021, Metropolitan News Company