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Courts: ‘Zero Dollar’ Bail Policy to End This Week

SAN FRANCISCO — The Judicial Council of California voted Wednesday 17-2 to end the state’s controversial “zero dollar” bail schedule on June 20.

The temporary measure allowed those accused of lower-level crimes to be released from jail without paying any bail.

The Judicial Council said the measure was intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and surrounding communities but it had some high-profile side effects.

Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno has been strongly opposed to “zero dollar” bail, which she said “failed to place the proper emphasis on victims’ rights and public safety.”

During the time the order has been in place, many county sheriffs around the state have reported seeing some of the suspects they had recently released under the “zero dollar” bail order accused of committing another crime, sometimes within hours of their release.

In issuing the update, the Judicial Council said “zero dollar” bail could be reinstated if health conditions worsen or change.

The Judicial Council of California is the rule-making arm of the California court system and is overseen by Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court.

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Sierra News Online

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