breaking news

Death of Ohio man found in Springfield park ruled a homicide

Ohio looking to change bail system, focusing less on money


The ACLU of Ohio says a plan to shift courts away from using cash-bail systems is a good start but doesn’t go far enough to fix the broken system.

ACLU lobbyist Gary Daniels and Policy Counsel Caitlin Hill are encouraging state lawmakers to change House Bill 439, which aims to reduce the use of cash bail and instead assess the risk of each defendant poses based on factors such as criminal history and age. The bill would require courts to use a “risk assessment” tool when setting bail in misdemeanor cases but not in felony cases.

“Freedom should not depend on how much money someone has in their bank account,” Daniels said in a written statement.

The ACLU says cash bail should be eliminated for misdemeanor and some felony charges and courts should be required to compile race-based data for full analysis.

Related: Bill in Ohio House seeks to give judges more say in bail decisions

Related: Why are so many Ohioans in jail? State is trying to find out

A 34-member study group led by the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission in June 2017 recommended reforms to the state’s pretrial system, including cutting back on the reliance on money bail and improving data collection. House Bill 439 reflects some of that committee’s recommendations.

“HB439 aligns Ohio with the national trend in bail and pretrial service reform that recognizes keeping someone in jail simply because they cannot afford to pay the set amount of money bail does not increase public safety,” according to written testimony from Sara Andrews, director of the Criminal Sentencing Commission.

Bail reform is also supported by the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think tank based in Columbus. Buckeye Institute fellow said in his testimony that HB439 would make the system fairer and communities safer.

Related: Man stopped for wearing hoodie, saggy pans is jailed for nine days

Related: Rich buy freedom, poor stay in jail, study on Ohio bail system says



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

North Carolina man rolled his eyes at wife before buying winning lottery ticket
North Carolina man rolled his eyes at wife before buying winning lottery ticket

The winner of Monday’s Lucky for Life lottery in North Carolina may never be able to roll his eyes at his wife ever again. Darrin Nunnery won Monday’s $390,000 jackpot after his wife asked him to buy her a $2 lottery ticket.  Nunnery’s wife called to him, “Get me a Lucky For Life ticket,” and he apparently rolled...
Trump can't block people on Twitter, judge rules
Trump can't block people on Twitter, judge rules

A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump can’t block people from his Twitter feed because doing so would violate their First Amendment rights, according to multiple reports. The ruling was issued by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in response to a lawsuit filed in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute...
Local woman could win $1 million on ‘Survivor’ season finale tonight 
Local woman could win $1 million on ‘Survivor’ season finale tonight 

A local woman could land $1 million tonight if she wins the finale of “Survivor: Ghost Island.” The season finale will air on Wednesday, May 23 at 8/7c on CBS. The castaways have been narrowed down to  Domenick, Wendell, Laurel, Angela, Donathan, and Sebastian. Angela Perkins, a Mason resident, will compete...
Florida high school student says substitute teacher told her to go outside to shoot herself
Florida high school student says substitute teacher told her to go outside to shoot herself

Clay County school leaders said they won’t recommend a substitute to fill in in the future after an inappropriate conversation with a student. Ridgeview High School senior Jasmyne Hughes made a post on Facebook saying that a substitute teacher at the Orange Park, Florida, school told a girl in class she could go shoot herself, but to make sure...
Turkey chicks rescued from Pittsburgh sewer
Turkey chicks rescued from Pittsburgh sewer

Two turkey chicks were rescued after being trapped in a sewer in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.  The chicks were trapped in the sewer on Ajax Street and Hancock Street in Upper Hill, according to WPXI crews on scene.  According to city officials, public works crews were called to the scene at noon to remove the grate in order to rescue...
More Stories