Gov. Brown signs bill eliminating bail for suspects awaiting trial

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SACRAMENTO — Californians arrested for crimes will no longer have to post bail to get out of jail while awaiting their trials under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill, known as the California Money Bail Reform act, was approved by the legislature on Aug. 21, FOX 5's sister station KTXL reported. It eliminates money-based bail as an option for someone to be released from jail awaiting trial. Instead, counties will follow a pretrial risk assessment of a person before releasing them.

“Wealth is not the measure of any woman or man. By eliminating cash bail, we are saying that those with the least ability to pay should not be released or incarcerated solely on the basis of their wealth or poverty. SB 10 is only one leg of the long journey toward perfecting our justice system, but it is an important one,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a news release.

The bill faced sharp criticism from the bail bond industry and the American Civil Liberties Union. Critics have said the bill would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars to establish, would actually increase the number of people in jail and would give more power to judges.

The California Police Officers Association had come out against the bill before switching their stance to neutral.

The new law takes effect in October 2019.

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