San Francisco lawsuit latest legal assault on cash bail requirements for pre-trial release

Published December 26, 2015 Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – A Washington D.C. legal aid center is seeking to abolish the country’s so-called cash bail system, saying requiring criminal suspects to post bail or stay in jail pending trial treats poor defendants unfairly.

The Equal Justice Under Law center has filed seven lawsuits across the country seeking to abolish the cash-bail system. It has succeeded in changing the bail policies in four, smaller Southern jurisdictions.

It filed its latest lawsuit in October, challenging San Francisco’s bail system. Center lawyer Phil Telfeyan says if a judge strikes down San Francisco’s bail system, similar policies in the state’s 57 other counties will also have to be changed.

A judge will decide in next month whether to temporary suspend San Francisco’s bail system until the lawsuit is resolved.

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