The money bail system is morally, fiscally, and intellectually bankrupt

By Chesa Boudin

Money bail is the system where innocent people can be kept in jail because they’re poor, while wealthy people who are guilty and dangerous go free. It’s time to end it.

Four years ago, the system was challenged in a groundbreaking lawsuit named after two women, Riana Buffin and Crystal Patterson, who were unconstitutionally jailed in San Francisco and never even charged with a crime. On September 3, a federal judge finally issued an injunction that puts an end to this shameful, dangerous practice.Assuming that the injunction takes effect—which turns on the approval of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors—it will prohibit San Francisco from using money bail after an arrest and prior to an initial court appearance.

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