Zero-bail policy reinstated for LA County
LOS ANGELES - Starting Wednesday, zero-bail policy is coming to Los Angeles County. This comes as a Superior Court judge says keeping people locked up because they can't afford bail is a serious constitutional violation.
Supporters of the no-bail policy say this is a fair system. On the other hand, those involved with law enforcement argue it is the degradation of crime.
Los Angeles County Deputy DA John McKinney explained that LASD will not be detaining suspects over crimes like theft, shoplifting, drug use, vandalism, batteries and a list of other nonviolent crimes due to the no-bail policy. It also means those who get arrested over the aforementioned allegations would be released immediately without having to pay bail before their arraignment.
"Judge [Lawrence Riff] made the point of saying that he implored California officials like the sheriff, the chief of police, the district attorney, the city attorney. He implored them to testify to explain why he shouldn't issue this order. And he was surprised when no one stood up to challenge it," McKinney said.
Former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told FOX 11 he would have challenged the judge's ruling.
"The biggest impact actually is not going to be on the sheriff's department, LAPD. It's going to be on the other 45 municipalities that have their own police departments, because now they carry the burden of having to deliver their own inmates to court until the arraignment before they can go into the custody of the sheriff. That's going to be the biggest impact," Villanueva said.
Civil rights attorney Salil Dudani applauded Judge Riff's ruling. He said the current cash bail sytemis unfair.
"The current system is not based on whether you're dangerous, on whether you're a flight risk, on one, whether there's really any need at all for you to be in jail. It's just based on how much money you can pay. That's not fair. It makes no sense," Dudani said.
Under this new bail system, there are no second chances. So if a person violates the bail schedule, they are put back on a cash bail system.