Proposition 25 explained

Voters in California will decide Proposition 25, which would eliminate cash bail in California. Action News Now anchor Alan Marsden explains why proponents think this is a good idea.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 4:59 PM

CALIFORNIA - Voters in California will decide Proposition 25, which would eliminate cash bail in California.

The principle of no-cash bail was actually passed by the state legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2018. But opponents of no-cash bail were able to have that law delayed in order to allow voters to decide the issue.

So, measure 25, if passed, would uphold that 2018 law and replace cash bail with a computer algorithm to assess and determine an individual’s flight risk and risk of re-offending.

The argument in favor of Prop 25 is fairly simple: The current system is unfair.

People arrested for a crime, but presumed innocent, who can afford bail get out of jail. Poor people arrested for a crime, but presumed innocent, disproportionately people of color, can't afford bail, so they languish in jail.

When it comes to opposition to Prop 25, there are two completely different arguments.

One, that dangerous criminals could be released and commit more crimes while awaiting trial. Or they simply never show up for trial.
But there is a civil liberties argument against it as well, including from the NAACP.

The concern is a computer algorithm could be even more discriminatory toward people of color, resulting in a greater number behind bars.

So, a yes vote on Prop 25 means you want to see the change to no-cash bail. A no vote means, keep the system the way it is.

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