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Monday, September 28, 2020


Fix, Don't Scrap Bail Reforms

Jan 13, 2020

To the editor:
Kudos to State Senators James Skoufis and Jen Metzger for supporting ways to address bail reform problems without throwing the baby out with the bath water. For centuries, a different standard of justice has been available to the well to do. It is arrogance to presume only poor defendants pose a risk to public safety. Restraints on violent offenders must apply to all, regardless of their income. The reforms Mr. Skoufis suggests ensure public safety, while continuing work to level the judicial playing field. A list of criteria might help make the dangerous defendant designation a more uniform, less arbitrary process, adding protection for defendants appearing before judges who may come from a more prosecutorial background. Removing aspects of the two-tiered justice system that grossly discriminates against poor defendants is long overdue. These reforms are a good start but much more needs to be done, and the sooner the better for everyone.

Star D. Hesse

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