Hi again Louis to your points: IF you have the bail money you do get a full refund but that is because you are directly posting bail through the courts. The examples you cite are not the accused directly working through the courts, they are instead working through a bail bondsman who agrees to post the full bail in consideration of that non-refundable fee. If you skip town then the bail bondsman is responsible for paying that full amount to the courts. Because the bondsman is taking a massive risk their fees are also high

People who can afford to pay the Court directly have money. The reason the bail industry exist is because most people don’t have the money, so as you correctly pointed out the bail bondsman assures the Court that even though the person can’t pay they will guarantee that they will show up for a non-refundable FEE. My whole point is bail disadvantages the poor or the economically challenged.

You can’t possibly be that naive. Every drug dealer has to deal with a certain level of almost daily violence in just maintaining their customer base from those who want to muscles them out and take their customers. Violence and drug dealing is welded together. On top of that now many thousands of American citizens die using the drugs these people sell? Then how many children go hungry because mom spent the grocery money on crack or heroin?

Well again you can’t be this naive, the type of person who would jump bail would also be extremely difficult to track down, they work either dealing in drugs or other crimes so there is no employer of SSN to track, they live in circles who hate cops and would never report them, and how many man hours do we spend on trying to track them down? How much does that cost?

If an arrested drug dealer has violated bail and didn’t show up for Court, but is out in the streets still dealing that person is the easiest person for police to find. Either through following the traffic their drug sales create, use of co-opted drug using informants or as you point out the competition simply turning them in thereby avoiding the hassle of violent fights over territory. In terms of people dying from drug use and mom spending money on crack or heroin, a drug dealer locked up in jail will stop neither because as you point out their is always another dealer in the wings waiting to fill the void. If it were as simple as locking up drug dealers the war on drugs started in 1969 by then President Nixon would have been won 50 years ago.

I’m sorry but that is simply not true, it is almost impossible to catch someone who does not have a regular job and recorded address, there is no modern technology that guarantees you will instantly catch anyone skipping their court dates.

Even without a job the fugitive has relatives and places they frequent both of which become a necessity if they are hiding out with no money and no job to get money, they still have to survive. This makes them very vulnerable to detection because they have no independent resources to enable them to hide. Any policeman or detective will figure out their most likely limited places they could turn to for help.

Ask yourself a question, if it is so easy to track down those who skip, why do we have tens of thousands of bounty hunters employed in America trying to do just that because local law enforcement was incapable of finding those who skip? The problem falls in where people have something to lose if they run or not. An innocent person with a family and great job and ties to the community would not run, a guilty person facing time in prison and with few ties to the community would have a great deal of pressure to run. The problem is, we can’t know who is innocent or guilty before the trial so there is the problem, how do we accurately determine who will be motivated to run and who will not? If you were facing life in prison and you were guilty, would you stick around and meekly let yourself be sent to prison or would you try anything possible for even a short period of freedom you know you will never see again?

You really answered this one yourself. Anyone facing life in prison most likely has committed a violent crime and they don’t deserve bail. But even if the crime is not violent the fact that they are facing life in prison, would qualify on the profile I mentioned earlier as ineligible for bail because they are facing life and as you stated have nothing to lose.

One thing I do like is the use of ankle monitors and no bail, there is usually a small tracking fee to monitor it and I believe we should be able to make that even cheaper but this is a good middle ground where we can find you if you do not appear but you can be free to go about your life until that day. Maybe that could be that middle ground option between releasing with zero supervision or keeping them in jail the entire time? I am certainly pen to other options but we have to be realistic.

On this one you and I are in agreement 100%

Written by

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center.

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