If you need any further proof that state legislators do not value public safety, considerSenate Bill 10 (SB 10) and Assembly Bill 41 (AB 41) which will change our current bail system. Make no mistake, there is a problem with our current bail system. There is no question that it is unfair to the poor. Nor does it make sense that bail for violent criminals serves any public interest. But these two pieces of legislation are not the solution.
Senate Bill 10 and AB 42 change the bail system drastically. These two bills allow defendants, including those accused of capital crimes that carry the death sentence, to remain free pending their trial if they meet certain criteria. Further, when considering bail, the legislation gives scant weight to the criminal history of an arrestee or the arrestees’ prior history of failing to appear in court. The fact that our state constitution prohibits the release of those accused of capital crimes makes no difference to the authors of this legislation. The fact that our state constitution mandates that public safety be the primary factor in weighing pretrial release is ignored by these bills.