Now we can move on toward defeating this reckless law.
That’s the word from Jeff Clayton, executive director of the American Bail Coalition. Long expected, California’s SB10, which would eliminate cash bail in the state, will not go forward as initially expected in October. Instead, the voters of the state will determine whether the law will go into effect. In the process, they’ll also determine their own future.
The news of the referendum was announced late last week by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who announced that the referendum had the votes to go on the ballot.
2020 in California
In 2020, the voters will get their say, a rarity in a representative democracy, but probably the best move for a new law that would potentially affect the safety of millions of Californians, not to mention lower the standard of living across the state.
Dissent by Some Groups
Various groups, notably the ACLU, are opposed to the referendum and the ballot issue. While the organization was displeased with some of the details of the reform undertaken with SB10, they’re still on board against the bail industry, seemingly at pretty much any cost.
District attorneys in California also seem to be on board with bail reform, marching in lockstep with the reformers on most issues. At the same time, defense attorneys are generally in favor of reform, but take issue with SB10 the way it’s written, as many groups do.
Notes defense attorney Roberto Marquez:
The problem that I’d see too often was that courts would default back to a bail schedule, and my clients that deserved to be released on their own recognizance either had to pay a lot of money to get out, that was wasted on a bail bond company, or they’d have to stay in custody. All of those issues can be handled by the release on OR (own recognizance) with conditions. (SB10) creates an easier path for the courts to create a new class of people not bailable. It allows for a court to impose “preventative detention” on a defendant that they feel is a risk, but Marquez said that can be a slippery slope. Part of me says, ‘let’s defeat it and start over to make a new law that is fair to everybody,’ but I’d say, defense attorneys as a whole, were not happy with how SB 10 ended up.
Jeff Clayton chimed in on preventative detention as well, and didn’t mince words when he said, “We think preventative detention is evil and never thought we’d see it in California.”