14 Feb 2020 Bail Reform Trades Legal Tradition for More Crime
It’s obvious that bail reform isn’t a good idea when even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is having second thoughts about it. Yet his liberal colleagues are successfully promoting it all across America.
[T]he efforts to end bail have simply made our neighborhoods more dangerous and signaled to criminals in our midst that they wouldn’t be held accountable.
Horace explains that the concept of bail has existed for over 700 years. It is designed “to balance the interests of the state to ensure that defendants show up for trial while obviating the requirement for the accused to be detained for the duration of the trial.”
Yet liberals now say that bail should be largely abolished because it is unfair to minorities and people who are poor. They have successfully enacted some form of bail reform in 20 states and counting. And the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (recently rebranded from a nonprofit organization to the more opaque Arnold Ventures) has touted an “assessment tool” that will allegedly determine who can be released before trial on their own recognizance.
But Horace contends that this notion — that bail assessment tools are better than traditional jurisprudence — is inherently flawed:
This so-called assessment tool doesn’t even focus on the defendant’s individual circumstances but instead relies on statistical data like their age, gender etc. to generate a risk factor to determine whether they are “likely” to re-offend or skip trial.
In the 21st century we’re actually being told that you can tell whether someone is a criminal based on their physical characteristics?
Even if such tools could work, Horace adds that supplanting bail itself is a bad idea:
Bail isn’t useful, it is essential. Society will either warehouse every accused defendant prior to trial (at considerable taxpayer expense) or allow them to post a bond promising to show up for trial.
We can’t simply let them go after an arrest with just their promise to appear.
Horace previously criticized the Arnold Foundation and bail reform in a 2018 Daily Caller commentary. In that piece, he wrote: “Assault, robbery and burglary aren’t minor crimes and they are treated as serious crimes as a way to prevent their occurrence. If punishments and accountability recede, just as night follows day, a surge in these crimes of violence would occur.”
To read all of Horace’s Newsmax commentary – “Bail Reform? It Just Causes More Crime” – click here.