California Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Abortion Access at Public Universities

FILE 2018 California Gov. Jerry Brown will reportedly consider three bills intended to add restrictions on gun ownership in his state

The new law, enacted in response to a state court decision declaring the old system of cash bail an unconstitutional denial of due process, places California at the forefront of one prong of the national criminal justice reform movement, which encompasses a variety of different measures (including most notably sentencing reform) to reduce the human and fiscal costs of unnecessary incarceration. Risk assessment tools will be used instead, to determine if the detained resident has a high flight risk.

Brown said in a statement that the bill "preserves the rights of the accused, while prioritizing public safety".

Critics have long contended that the money bail system perpetuates inequality.

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Suspects looking at serious, violent felonies won't be eligible for release prior to trial but the majority of suspects arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors will be let go within 12 hours of being booked, according to the legislation.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye called the bill signing a "transformative day in our jusice system". "I think Californians can feel secure this will improve public safety".

David Quintana, a lobbyist for the California Bail Agents Association, said the industry is already mobilizing to block the new law from taking effect, though he declined to discuss the specifics. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who authored the bill along with Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda).

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The bill "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 resolved", the letter stated. But after the bill was rewritten, the ACLU no longer supported the bill, saying it gave too much discretion to judges to keep people locked up awaiting trial.

If the bill is signed into law, California would become the second state, after Hawaii, to authorize a 100-percent renewable energy law.

New Jersey and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems as well, although neither state has completely eliminated the money aspect.

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Other states have been watching California as they weigh overhauling their bail systems, said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, who works on criminal justice issues for the American Civil Liberties Union. That entity would assess the likelihood that the person will not appear in court or commit a new crime while released, and would make a recommendation for conditions of release.

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