Mercury News Op-Ed: California’s Bail System is Egregiously Unfair to Non-Wealthy Defendants, Especially if They’re Innocent
On the eve of my 34th birthday, I was assaulted by the San Jose Police.
What began as a disagreement with a parking control officer directing traffic escalated into several police officers beating me with billy clubs. Worse, I was wrongly charged with resisting arrest with bail set at a whopping $165,000.
While more than 30 letters of support were presented at my bail hearing from coworkers, community organizations and friends, the judge denied my request to be released and instead reduced my bail to $85,000.
I make a decent living as a maintenance technician, but the 10 percent fee, or $8,500, to pay the bail bond company was well beyond what I could afford. My mother ended up withdrawing the cash from her retirement account to bail me out – but not before I had to spend five days locked up.
I am forever challenged by what happened to me. Read op-ed by Ato Walker, via the Mercury News