Feds say courts’ bail-or-jail policies are unfair to the poor

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Local courts that jail poor defendants because they can’t afford to pay bail are unlawfully discriminating against the poor, federal attorneys say in a legal brief in a Georgia lawsuit.

The U.S. Justice Department says such policies are unconstitutional.

The federal brief was filed Thursday with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the lawsuit of a north Georgia man who spent six days in jail in the city of Calhoun because he couldn’t afford $160 bail following his arrest on a misdemeanor charge.

U.SJustice Department lawyers argue that such policies “unlawfully discriminate” against poor defendants by using preset bail amounts that don’t take into account the accused person’s ability to pay. Read more…

More about Civil Rights, Prison, Jail, Bail, and Constitution

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