California Won’t Alter Money Bail System This Year

SACRAMENTO (AP) – Changes to California’s money bail system won’t be happening this year.

Top state officials including the governor and Supreme Court chief justice promised Friday to study the issue and try again next year as a Senate-approved bill struggled to gain enough votes in the Assembly.

The measure would have dramatically changed the state’s pretrial release policies. A judge would have decided during a hearing whether to require bail as a condition of release, while considering the defendant’s income level.

Bail is money or property that can be forfeited if suspects fail to appear for trial.

Backers including hip hop recording artist Common lobbied for the bill this week, contending the current system disproportionately hurts poor defendants.

Opponents say having money at stake pressures defendants to show up for court.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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