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California eliminates money bail system

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California Gov. Jerry Brown said the new legislation would eliminate disparities based on wealth. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

By Danielle Haynes, UPI

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday eliminating the money bail requirement for Californians to be released from jail while they await trial.

Instead of requiring those arrested on felony charges to post bail, the county courts would create a risk assessment for all arrestees to determine whether they could be released from jail with an ankle monitoring device.

Supporters of the legislation said it would eliminate disparities in release rates based on wealth.

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

Those who are deemed a high risk to public safety or of failing to reappear would remain in custody, while those at low risk could be released. People accused of certain sex or violent crimes would immediately fall under the high-risk category.

Some early backers of the bill, like the American Civil Liberties Union, dropped their support after the California Legislature added wording saying it would be up to the courts to conduct the risk assessment. The organization said the process would exacerbate "racial biases and disparities that permeate our justice system."

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: California eliminates money bail system
California eliminates money bail system
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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