Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Did Not Know This

Funny how Johnny Carson pops up when I realize I've just formed a new nueral pathway in my brain. Anyhoo, this article in today's NYT was quite interesting. &, as a Wiscoite, I learned another way that we are progressive. I know, we must atone for the evil Joe McCarthy, &, of course, Ed Gein, well know lampshade maker, but I think we are making a stab at it with, well, the UW-Madison, the Green Bay Packers, & beer, & the abolishment of for profit bail bondspersons, among other things.
“It’s a very American invention,” John Goldkamp, a professor of criminal justice at Temple University, said of the commercial bail bond system. “It’s really the only place in the criminal justice system where a liberty decision is governed by a profit-making businessman who will or will not take your business.”

Although the system is remarkably effective at what it does, four states — Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin — have abolished commercial bail bonds, relying instead on systems that require deposits to courts instead of payments to private businesses, or that simply trust defendants to return for trial.

Most of the legal establishment, including the American Bar Association and the National District Attorneys Association, hates the bail bond business, saying it discriminates against poor and middle-class defendants, does nothing for public safety, and usurps decisions that ought to be made by the justice system.

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