Amid growing concerns over a rise in homicides, the Harris County Bail Board this month took action to help stop the bloodshed, forcing defendants charged with violent crimes to pay bail companies $10 % of the amount of the deposit fixed by the judges.
Pretrial defendants accounted for 7% of Houston homicides from 2013-2020, so while this is just one piece of a larger criminal crisis, the families of victims in these and subsequent cases understandably pushed for change. But in part because of the constraints of state law, the Bail Board had virtually no alternative but a band-aid solution that, at best, only solves a small part of the problem before trial. , with potential side effects. The “system” still needs major surgery to ensure public safety and due process.
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