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Locked Up for Being Poor

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In a 193-page ruling that followed a lengthy trial, the judge, Lee Rosenthal, said that money bail should be used for people charged with misdemeanors “only in the narrowest of cases,” and even then only when there are strong safeguards in place to ensure that defendants receive due process before being locked up.

The ruling in the Harris County case is temporary, but its broader significance lies in the slew of factual findings Judge Rosenthal made and the legal conclusions she reached. Her careful reasoning could transform the growing debate over bail reform nationwide, where an estimated 450,000 people are held in pretrial detention on a given day.

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David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on U.S. foreign policy, economic and political issues, human rights and social issues. David is a Senior Contributing Editor of The Greanville Post (TGP) and a prior Senior Editor for (more...)
 

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