Reform of criminal bail practices has become a hot topic. Litigation around the country has succeeded in striking down schedules that fix the same cash bail for all arrestees charged with a given offense, and advocates have turned to constitutional challenges to bail-setting practices that result in individualized bail amounts that are unaffordable for indigent arrestees. Meanwhile, some elected officials (including district attorneys) have started to press for fundamental changes to bail practices, with much of the focus being on elimination of cash bail for those charged with minor, non-violent offenses. Just last month, New York joined this movement, with Governor Andrew Cuomo proposing significant changes to the state’s bail practices.
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