Changes proposed to bail system that jails poor defendants

Judge denies bail for Rapid City 19 year old.
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) (03/17/19) - Lawmakers and advocates across the political spectrum are joining together to propose changes to Michigan's cash bail system, which is under criticism for allowing low-income defendants to be jailed when they cannot afford to post bond.

Newly introduced legislation would allow more people accused of crimes to be released on their own recognizance before trial rather than have to pay. Judges could still set bail if they determine defendants pose an undue danger or there is a significant risk of them failing to appear in court.

Among those backing the bills is the state's top law enforcer, Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel.

She says people are incarcerated because of an inability to make bond even though they face minor charges for which they will be not be sentenced to jail.

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