Bail Bondsmen Accused of Shaking Down Suspects

As commercial bail has become a $2 billion industry, bail bondsman are the payday lenders of criminal justice, offering quick relief to desperate customers at high prices, the New York Times reports. Bondsmen keep a close eye on their clients, but who keeps a close eye on the bondsmen?

justice scales

The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention

If you are released ahead of your trial date, you’re 14 percent less likely to be found guilty, according to an American Economic Review study. Compared to those who can’t make bail and are held in pretrial detention, your economic outlook is better too, researchers concluded in a study of court records in Philadelphia and Miami-Dade counties.

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Dallas Cash Bail System

The lawsuit, which may end up carrying a hefty price tag, alleges that the system fails to consider a jailed defendant’s ability to pay to post bond, resulting in disparate treatment. Poorer citizens remain jailed for weeks or months because they can’t afford to pay their way out, while wealthier people can quickly purchase their freedom.

Cuomo Criminal Justice Plan Aims at Helping Poor Suspects

The New York governor’s proposal addresses several aspects of the criminal justice system critics have long decried as unfair to the poor, among them the state’s cash bail system and its restrictive discovery law, which allows prosecutors to withhold important evidence against a defendant until the eve of trial.