California To Become First State To End Bail On Still Murky Risk-Assessment System

California will become the first state to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown, but it’s still unclear how the risk-assessment system replacing it will work. 

“Our path to a more just criminal justice system is not complete, but today it made a transformational shift away from valuing private wealth and toward protectingpublic safety,” the law’s author, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said in a statement.

The new law lets counties set up their own pretrial assessment agencies or run their risk assessment programs through existing probation departments.

Brown’s signature gives the state’s judicial council broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies ahead of the new law’s October 2019 start date.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell hasn’t seen the final language of the bill however said a risk assessment tool looks at characteristics of an individual and if they are likely to reoffend.

“To try to balance what we know about the individual and to determine as best we can, with the information we have, what is the threat for the community by releasing this person rather than holding them in custody pending their trial.”

According to the bill, most suspects accused of nonviolent felonies will be released within 12 hours of booking, while those charged with serious, violent felonies will stay in jail before trial.

The new law gives judges wide latitude to decide what to do with other suspects based on their likelihood of returning to court and the danger they pose to the public.

It’s still unclear which suspects would fall into each category or how long they might spend in jail.

“Trying to ensure that we get the best risk assessment tool that we can, I think, is a critical point to the success to this whole initiative,” said McDonnell.

 

 

The Associated Press, James Rojas

Rep. Tom McClintock: Mueller’s lackluster performance no surprise

Rep. Tom McClintock: Mueller’s lackluster performance no surprise

Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee Wednesday did not rock anyone’s boat. Mueller frustrated members on both sides with vague or deflective responses. Tom McClintock, a Republican Congressman from Northern California and a House Judiciary Committee member, was not impressed. “It became very clear, very quickly,…Continue Reading

The Ridgecrest Quake-3% Chance of a Mag 7 Again this Week Says USGS

The Ridgecrest Quake-3% Chance of a Mag 7 Again this Week Says USGS

Updated: Ridgecrest quake damage not as severe as first thought…There is a high probability that more aftershocks will follow; There are no reports of serious damage in Los Angeles related to tonight’s earthquake. No infrastructure damage or injuries have been reported in Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, Glendale, Long Beach and Santa Monica. Continue Reading

Trump on possible Iran response: You’ll find out.

Trump on possible Iran response: You’ll find out.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the wake of Iran shooting down an American drone. By Joshua Berlinger, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Barbara Starr, Shirzad Bozorgmehr and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN Iran shot down a United States military drone on Thursday, further escalating the already volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard…Continue Reading