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California sticks to cash bail, rejecting reform

California is sticking with its traditional cash bail system, rejecting a nation-leading move to rely instead on risk assessments to decide which suspects should remain jailed awaiting trial.

Posted: Nov 4, 2020 10:51 AM
Updated: Nov 4, 2020 10:57 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California voters stuck with the state’s traditional cash bail system in this year’s balloting, rejecting a nation-leading move to rely instead on risk assessments to decide which suspects should remain jailed awaiting trial.

Voters in the most populous state overturned a 2018 law that stalled when the bail industry challenged it at the ballot box through Proposition 25. With more than 11 million votes counted, the measure failed Wednesday with 55% opposing and 45% favoring an end to the current bail system.

CALIFORNIA'S 2020 BALLOT PROPOSITIONS EXPLAINED: Click Here

Supporters of the change had said the traditional bail system punishes the poor — often racial minorities — because they lack the money to buy their freedom or can least afford to pay a bail bondsman.

Opponents included some prominent civil rights groups who said the alternative’s risk assessment tools also are racially and socioeconomically biased.

Click Here to view statewide and national election results.

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