Los Angeles Time Editorial: How the poor get locked up and the rich go free
Arguments were filed last week in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Maranda Lynn ODonnell, a young mother who was held in a Houston jail for three days last year because she couldn't pay $2,500 in bail. Her alleged crime? Driving with an invalid license.
ODonnell's plight is similar to that of thousands of people each year in Texas, California and around the nation who are arrested, then jailed without any finding of guilt or innocence because they don't have the money to buy their release. As in California, HarrisCounty prosecutors and judges determine the level of bail by consulting a schedule that assigns an amount to the offense but does not answer a set of questions tied directly to the purpose of bail: Can this defendant afford it? Is she a risk to flee? Does she pose a threat to public safety?
Read full editorial via Los Angeles Times.