JUDGE STEVEN BAILEY (RET.): A ROBUST MONETARY BAIL SYSTEM IS ESSENTIAL TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE
“The Attorney General Needs To Stop Playing Politics With Public Safety”
California – Judge Steven Bailey denounces the current Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, for playing politics with people’s safety in his latest underhanded attempt to undermine our state’s monetary bail system.
Attorney General Becerra has made it no secret that he does not support monetary bail, but when he recently filed a brief arguing that any bail set in a California Superior Court that does not take into consideration the petitioner’s ability to pay is unconstitutional, he went too far. “Like AB 109 and Propositions 47 & 57, this is the just the latest attempt by career politicians to weaken and undermine our criminal justice system,” said Judge Steven Bailey. “A robust monetary bail system is essential in protecting the public and ensuring the accused will appear before a court of law.”
Becerra’s brief for case 5:17-cv-06473-BLF states: “The Attorney General agrees that petitioner did not receive constitutionally adequate process during the setting of bail in this case….In this case, bail was set without any factual finding that the amount of bail was one that petitioner could afford to post, or adequate consideration of whether alternative measures could satisfy the public’s compelling interests in protecting public safety and ensuring petitioner’s appearance at future proceedings in the case.”
Becerra then doubled-down on this dangerous position in a brief before an appellate court filed on January 25, 2018: “The Department of Justice has determined that it will not defend any application of the bail law that does not take into consideration a person’s ability to pay, or alternative methods of ensuring a person’s appearance at trial. Given this determination, after further deliberations, we withdraw our earlier assertion that the magistrate was not obligated to make any additional inquiry into petitioner’s ability to pay under the circumstances of this case.”
“Becerra’s brief amounts to a backdoor attempt to eliminate monetary bail,” said Judge Steven Bailey, who recently retired from the California Superior Court in El Dorado County after 8½ years on the bench. “I support reform of the bail statute to enhance public safety, but I can’t endorse swapping out the constitutional, time-tested, and fair bail schedules of our state with costly risk-based assessments when Californians’ lives are at stake.”
“The emptying of our prisons, reduced sentences for serial thieves, sanctuary for criminals – enough is enough,” continued Bailey. “The Attorney General needs to stop playing politics with our families’ safety. In 2018, Californians will have the opportunity to take a stand for their communities and elect a new Attorney General who will work with law enforcement to uphold the rule of law. I will be the Attorney General who always puts public safety first,” declared Judge Steven Bailey.