DOJ: Poor Can’t Be Held If They Can’t Afford Bail

This specific incident revolves around the case of Maurice Walker of Calhoun, GA, who was kept in jail for six nights after being arrested for being a pedestrian under the influence. While his crime wasn't exactly a bad one, what happens when it applies to somebody who committed a far more nefarious crime?

Justice Department's civil rights lawyers said in their brief that courts must consider a person's indigence and look at other ways of guaranteeing an appearance in court.

“Fixed bail schedules that allow for the pretrial release of only those who can play, without accounting for the ability to pay,” the government said, “unlawfully discriminate based on indigence.”

A federal judge in January ruled in Walker's favor, ordering the city to let those arrested on misdemeanor offenses be released on their own recognizance and to make other changes in its post-arrest procedures.

In appealing that order, the city said the preset amounts of the city's bail schedule are tied to the seriousness of each offense and are specifically allowed under Georgia law.

Funny how the Obama Administration only wants to use the Constitution when it suits them.




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