KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Our state’s current bail system is being challenged in court over concerns it’s not fair to poor people.

Ideally the amount of money you pay to await trial somewhere besides jail should be a carefully devised figure, says Stanford Law Professor Robert Weisberg.

“The counties tend to take the kind of easy route of, ‘hey, we’ll just set an amount for crime, we don’t have to look at anything else,” Weisberg told KCBS.

Which means that whether or not you’re a flight risk, your bail is just a set figure, a figure that for many is impossible to reach.

“Great numbers of defendants who are very, very good risks in terms of showing up for trial never get out of jail. It puts them at a great disadvantage in terms of preparing any kind of defense that could get them out,” Weisberg said.

So, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has appointed a panel to look into how California sets its bail amounts.

This comes on the heels of two lawsuits in federal court, one out of San Francisco and the other Sacramento that challenge the process as well.


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