News and Commentary

Get Out of Jail Free Card

todayDecember 4, 2021 2


USA – Have you heard? The crazies in New York are at it again! They’ve passed legislation requiring zero bail for accused criminals. You can commit a crime, get arrested, get booked at the jail, and get immediately released without posting bail. It’s wonderful for the criminals, but horrible for citizens.

Just so we’re on the same page, “bail” is an amount of money you can post when you are arrested. That money is held as collateral to assure that you will appear for the remainder of your court appearances. In ancient times (meaning 2018 or so), if you got arrested for robbery in New York you would go to the jail and get booked in. After that you would appear before a Judge to answer the charge and for a bail to be set. Once the bail was set, if you could post it, you would be released. If you appeared for all of your court appearances, the bail money was returned to you at the end of the case. If you didn’t appear for all of your court appearances, you forfeited the money. Let’s say the Judge set your bail at $10,000. In most cases, that was really a bail of $1,000, because most courts permit you to post 10%. If that’s the case, why not just set the bail at $1,000? Because that sounds weak. Judges all want to sound like Roy Bean. So $10,000 bail is shouted from the rooftops, while “I’ll let you post 10%” was whispered. Let’s say you didn’t even have the $1,000. In that case, you could get a bail bondsman to put up the money. In essence, he would loan you the money. Most require some sort of collateral. The point is, bail wasn’t out of reach.

That whole antiquated system has been abandoned in New York based on two progressive assertions: criminals tend to be poor and are victims of society’s inequity. They didn’t get a good education, were raised by one parent in a rough neighborhood, and couldn’t find a job; the list goes on and on. Therefore, like many things in progressive America, you find that the system has been turned upside down. Criminals are now victims – and victims are on their own.

New York has had several incidents where someone is arrested for misconduct, is released without bail, then goes and victimizes another person. If you’re a progressive, this makes perfect sense because it doesn’t impact you directly. To the rest of us, it’s lunacy.

Former New York Police Chief Patrick Phelan told local media outlets, “We’re getting to the point in New York state where you’re seriously limiting our ability to keep you safe,” adding some examples of charges that now require release with no bail, “Robbery in the 2nd degree, Burglary in the 2nd degree, Assault in the 2nd degree, Stalking in the 1st degree, Strangulation in the 2nd degree, Rape in the 2nd degree, Sexual Abuse in the 1st degree…”

“Bail reform at the core of SB 182 and HB 315 will take a major step in ensuring Ohioans charged with low level offenses are able to keep their lives on track while having their presumption of innocence respected, regardless of their means or income”, said Republican state Sen. Rob McColley whom introduced the bill alongside Republican Sen. Steve Huffman. Whoops, did I get that quote wrong? No, it isn’t. Is that reference to Ohio correct? Unfortunately, yes it is.

Two Ohio state senators have introduced legislation that would follow New York’s lead by eliminating bail in some cases and severely reducing it in others. Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) with three co-sponsors, two of them being Democrats. Their proposal would require judges to use a computer program to determine a suspect’s flight risk and if bail should be required; it would also cap the amount of bail at 25% of the suspect’s monthly net income.

John Litle, the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Muskingum County, Ohio weighs in about this: “There is no tool which will ever be created by the University of Cincinnati or any other institution, panel of experts, or administrative body which will displace the judgment of a Judge elected by the actual panel of experts recognized by the Ohio Constitution, which is the electorate of the County in which the Judge sits.”

I couldn’t agree more.

-Robert Karabekian

Written by: wzaalpfm

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