California Supreme Court ends unaffordable cash bail

by Alanna D Coopersmith on Apr. 04, 2021

Criminal Felony Civil & Human Rights  Civil Rights Criminal  Misdemeanor 

Summary: In In re Humphrey, for the first time the California Supreme Court held that the uniform application of bail to the rich and poor alike violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the constitution.

In a grownbreaking legal precedent, the Supreme Court of California last month struck down bail schedules as unconstitutional discrimination against the poor. Like so many defendants in criminal court, the defendant Kenneth Humphrey was granted release on bail in an amount higher than he could afford. As a consequence, he had to remain in jail. He appealed this ruling.

In In re Humphrey, the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to detain someone prior to trial merely because they lack financial resources. In setting the amount of bail, the court must conduct an individualized assessment of ability to pay.

For more information on Humphrey, please visit my blog.

Alanna D. Coopersmith practices criminal defense law in the Bay Area.

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