Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a push for bail reform. The idea is that people who are merely accused of a crime shouldn’t be held in jail indefinitely, especially based on their ability to pay for release.
I get that argument. However, some violent criminals are taking advantage of his push–and a charity that seeks to pay that bail–so they can get back out on the streets and back into the business of hurting people.
Now, it seems some states are trying to crack down on this particular charity.
The state legislature in Indiana is looking to stop judges from reducing bail for violent criminals to next to nothing. It’s also looking to stop a charitable bail organization from stepping in to pay for the release of criminals back onto Indianapolis’ streets.
It’s part of a national pushback against bail reforms sparked by high-profile cases like Darrell E. Brooks, who had been out of jail for just five days when he killed six people by plowing his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin in November,
A bill introduced this month by Indiana state Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) would prohibit judges from reducing bail for a violent offense, requiring they stick to the bail schedule in place in their county. For a second violent offense, bail would double.
The proposal, Senate Bill 6, would also require bail to be paid in cash for a violent offense, and paid by the person charged or by his immediate family. That would stop nonprofit groups like The Bail Project from posting bail to spring violent offenders.
“The Indiana Constitution is pretty clear that bail, except for murder, is available to our citizens, but it doesn’t say it has to be easy to obtain,” said Young at a hearing on his bill on January 11. “And we’re going to make sure it’s not easy to obtain, because Indianapolis and Marion County [and] our citizens are safer when they’re [criminals] in jail awaiting their trial than out on our streets.”
Indiana isn’t alone. In neighboring Kentucky, state representatives have introduced a bill seeking to make charitable or crowdfunded bail organizations illegal.
And in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation to keep more violent offenders behind bars until their trials. And Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, facing a competitive election later this year, has also signaled he’s open to tightening bail requirements.
Now, understand, I get the sentiment.
However, this will also mean people can’t go to a bail bondsman to take care of bail as well, at least based on my understanding.
See, bail is a good thing, and I’m fine with bail not being cheap. Yet if you set your requirements so that it’s not practical, then the right is essentially a right in name only. It’s like saying your right to keep and bear arms is preserved because you can purchase a single model of smart gun that costs as much as a new car.
It seems to me that it would be more productive to counter these bail reform activists and pressure judges not to turn jail cell doors into revolving doors.
That has the added benefit of working even in states that have no interest in passing new laws.
Either way, though, something needs to be done. This whole bail reform thing has put way too many violent criminals back out on our streets, which isn’t doing anything good for our violent crime rate in the least. As homicides soar, the idea of keeping violent criminals out of jail just doesn’t make any sense.
Then again, folks like this aren’t really into making sense in the first place.