The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:
Previously, those who could not afford to post bail on their own would hire a bail bondsman or make bail through the assistance of friends and family, who ensure the defendant would appear in court, as their money was riding on it. Now law enforcement is overburdened and unable to locate such fugitives, because they have been released without any surety and there isn't any bounty hunter looking for them.
Innocent people accused of committing serious crimes are now stuck behind bars awaiting trial. In the past, they could have been released, even with a very high bail and conditions such as house
arrest as possible conditions. Now there is no chance of pre-trial release.
"Bail Reform" was sold on the basis that it would get poor people who would come to court released from jail. But even previously, a judge had the option of waiving any cash bond, and releasing the defendant on their own recognizance or conditions like house arrest.
Governor Christie conned the state (including the NAACP and ACLU) with his "Bail Elimination" plan, but our next governor, Phil Murphy, must work to repeal this unconstitutional mess.
Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner