California may not require bail for most criminal suspects

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California could dramatically change the way it pressures criminal defendants to show up for court.

A proposal getting its first hearing in the state Legislature on Tuesday could do away with monetary bail for most and take income into account for others to ensure poor suspects get an equal shot at freedom.

Instead of requiring suspects to post bail, county officials would decide whether to release them based on their risk to public safety.

Officials would also try to use jail alternatives like home detention or monitoring bracelets that track suspects' locations.

When a judge decides a money bail is needed for a serious or violent crime, the amount would be based on defendants' incomes.

The bail industry and some victim rights and law enforcement groups oppose the bills.

© 2017 Associated Press


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