A bright national spotlight has targeted the issue of pretrial detention after the biker gang shootings in Waco overwhelmed the local court system, which is sluggishly releasing 170 bikers from jail.

But before the incident, top Texas court leaders were already pondering the adverse societal effects that arise from unnecessary pretrial detention. On June 12, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht announced the creation of a Criminal Justice Committee to study state law and policies about pretrial confinement and to recommend changes to help the criminal justice system, criminal defendants and the public.

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