The historical purpose of bail is to ensure the appearance in court of an arrestee. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides citizens protection from excessive bail but does not exclude bail that cannot be met. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that “bail setting is not constitutionally excessive merely because a defendant is financially unable to satisfy the requirement” (United States v. Van Caester, 1970). Although there have been two prior bail reform movements in the United States, cash bail remains a central practice in the criminal justice system. Civil liberties groups, however, view cash bail as a means to treat the wealthy differently from the poor, and they are advocating to eliminate cash bail as an option in pretrial practices. Recently, some states have passed binary bail reform laws whereby the options are to release an arrestee on personal recognizance bail or to hold the arrestee under preventative detention.
Take a position. Do you agree or disagree that cash bail should be eliminated as an option in pretrial procedures?
First, title your post either “Cash bail should be eliminated as an option in pretrial procedures” or “Cash bail should not be eliminated as an option in pretrial procedures.”
Then, using the information gained in this module, make your case. Any sources should be cited according to APA style. Answer the following questions to support your stance:
Whom does cash bail affect, both negatively and positively?
Are there any pretrial circumstances in which cash bail is or is not the best option for the arrestee?
What may be effects on either the arrestee or the criminal justice system if cash bail is or is not used?
United States v. Van Caester, 319 F. Supp. 1297, 1298 (S.D. Fla. 1970); see also White v. United States, 330 F.2d 811, 814 (8th Cir. 1964); United States v. Radford, 361 F.2d 777 (4th Cir. 1966); White v. Wilson, 399 F.2d 596, 598 (9th Cir. 1968); United States v. McConnell, 842 F.2d 105, 107 (5th Cir. 1988).