Sanders Introduces Bill to End Money Bail
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation Wednesday to end money bail, which would prevent people from being locked up before trial solely because they cannot afford their bail. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has introduced a companion bill in the House.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and nearly a quarter of all people imprisoned on any given day, disproportionately black, Latinx, and Native American, are “unconvicted”—meaning they are sitting in jail waiting for a trial, plea bargain or conclusion to their case. Hundreds of thousands of the “unconvicted” population are in jail simply because they could not afford their bail.
In introducing his bill Sanders said: “Poverty is not a crime and hundreds of thousands of Americans, convicted of nothing, should not be in jail today because they cannot afford cash bail. In the year 2018, in the United States, we should not continue having a ‘debtor prison’ system. Our destructive and unjust cash bail process is part of our broken criminal justice system – and must be ended.”