For the second time, a federal judge in Georgia has labeled as unconstitutional a North Georgia city’s misdemeanor bail policy that allowed defendants with sufficient funds to secure their release from jail while defendants too poor to post bail remained in custody.
U.S. Senior District Judge Harold Murphy issued the second order after a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in March vacated the judge’s 2016 injunction barring the City of Calhoun from detaining—sometimes for weeks—misdemeanor arrestees who could not afford to post a cash bond. Murphy had certified the case as a class action and directed the city to release misdemeanor defendants awaiting court appearances on their own recognizance or an unsecured signature bond until it could formulate a bail policy that passed constitutional muster.
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