California attorney general backs changing money bail system

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's attorney general says judges must consider suspects' ability to pay when they set bail.

Posted: Feb. 20, 2018 2:51 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's attorney general says judges must consider suspects' ability to pay when they set bail.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that judges should consider whether suspects are dangerous or are likely to flee when deciding whether to keep them in jail while awaiting trial.

His position in a San Francisco case adds momentum to ongoing talks by the governor, state lawmakers and judges over finding a better way to make sure suspects show up in court.

He's siding with a recent appeals court ruling that the bail system unconstitutionally discriminates against poor suspects who languish in jail.

Becerra's announcement comes in the case of a 64-year-old San Francisco suspect jailed because he couldn't make $350,000 bail on charges of stealing $5 and a bottle of cologne.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.) 

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