SB 10: Reaction to California Bail Reform


Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed sweeping legislation to eliminate cash bail in California.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye praised SB 10 as a "transformative day for our justice system" and thanked the "judges in my Pretrial Detention Reform Work Group to bring about a fair and just solution for all Californians".

As you may have guessed - or you may be feeling yourself - many questions remain.

What does the new law do?

Brown described the new law, which takes effect on October 1, 2019 as establishing a pre-trial system that allows judges to determine a defendant's custody status based on a non-monetary assessment of public safety risk and the probability of the defendant missing a court date.

The organization pulled its support for the bill earlier this month as the it underwent changes in the state legislature. Those not eligible for pretrial release will be offenders facing serious violent felonies.

Defendants deemed likely to appear and posing little risk to the public will be released. Detained individuals will still have a chance for a hearing to argue for their release. In the past, Governor Brown has vetoed bills that would have funded health services on college campuses.

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"Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly", said a statement from the governor. "Politicians are fearless to do this because this is a very progressive abortion bill", Khan said in a statement to The Triton.

Eliminating bail is as much about reducing the jail population and addressing racial disparities in criminal justice as it is about financial concerns, Dooley-Sammuli said. Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said in a statement.

"[Senate Bill 10] sets up a system that allows judges almost unlimited discretion to order people accused of crimes, but not convicted and presumptively innocent, to be held in jail with no recourse until their case is solved", wrote a delegation of criminal justice reform advocates to the governor.

Under Senate Bill 10, California will replace bail with "risk assessments" of individuals and non-monetary conditions of release.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones wrote an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, calling the bill "a disaster for public safety".

What has been the response so far?

Crime is going down too.

The debate continued on social media despite the law being signed.