No more bail sounds like a good idea. The idea is based on the theory that poor people can’t pay the bail to get out of jail while waiting for their trial and the rich can pay the bail. To equalize the score, Governor Brown signed a bill last week that nearly abolishes bail. The immediate effect is, there goes another profession. Bail Bondsmen will nearly be put out of business. In addition, many Bounty Hunters will be gone too.
Risk assessment involves a judge making a determination of whether a defendant who is charged with a crime will voluntarily return to court for trial or not. Those charged with minor offenses will probably be allowed to go free until trial, without bail. Those charged with more serious crimes probably will stay in jail until trial. The details have been left up to the judicial Council to determine. The effective date of the new law is October, 2019. Until then, we are in no man’s land and my guess is that Judges will effect a modiﬁed version of the new Law using their discretion to either put a person in jail or not.
California joins New Jersey, Alaska, and New Mexico. In looking at their bail system, these states have modiﬁed their bail system. California is the ﬁrst state to completely do away with bail. The risk assessment looks primarily at two items in assessing a party’s likelihood of voluntarily returning to court for trial. One item is the risk to public safety. The other is the likelihood of voluntarily returning to court.
Racial bias is a concern of some who also acknowledge it as a positive step in reforming the criminal justice system. The new law gives a judge 24 hours to determine whether to release a party or not. An additional 12 hours can be granted if the court deems it necessary.
I’m guessing that those who may have a bad record and have been in jail and convicted of numerous crimes, their chances of getting out of jail while waiting for trial are not good. My personal experience is that when I was a senior at Pepperdine College years ago and was arrested for a crime, a felony, I got out because I had no prior record and my neighbors were there watching the LAPD use excessive force against me and were willing to testify to that. My case was dismissed. The experience provided a lesson and a blessing. A good reputation is worth having.
A note to parents. Watch your kids, who they hang out with and what their interests are. Take them to church so they can learn good morals and experience the good life. Church reinforces what you teach them at home. When I was growing up, at Church I exercised my school learning by reading the Sunday School lesson. This exercised my ability to read, write, and analyze. I gave speeches in the Christmas and Easter programs and learned and improved my ability to speak.
Last Saturday, I watched the funeral of Aretha Franklin. I was struck by basketball player Isaiah Thomas and the grand children of Aretha. Their speeches were evidence of a good education and home training. I would bet that they learned and perfected these skills at church and/or Sunday School.
Unfortunately there are those who don’t learn these lessons. They missed Sunday School and/or did not pay attention. An example of this was the preacher at Aretha’s funeral who made some negative comments in his Eulogy that gives Preachers a bad name. Reverend Jasper Williams said a number of things that go against progress in Black America. While some of his points are valid, it was not the message to give at Aretha’s funeral. He did what a lot of preachers do, speak too long and said stuff that didn’t ﬁt. First he said that Black America has lost its soul. Then, he said that Black women can’t raise their sons to be men. Then he also said that Black lives don’t matter because Blacks kill more Blacks. At that point I saw that half the church was empty. Rev. Williams was not in tune to what he should say to mourners at Aretha’s funeral. He is an example of someone who paid no attention. He did not pay attention to the people leaving. He did not analyze and adjust his message to ﬁ t the occasion. He said nothing meaningful to Aretha’s family. He did not pay attention to the time (in this case, nearly an hour).
Another positive thing about going to Church is you get to see and hear people exercise their communication skills. You meet people who are involved in various professions and the exposure might inspire your young to a profession. If all you may have heard about church is that you go, you pray, pay and obey, that is not the whole story. Go and try it (again) with an open mind. Get involved. You may like the difference it makes in your child’s life, and maybe yours.
Hopefully, you may never need to explore bail or get your child out of jail.