California $0 Bail Order Results in Re-Arrests of Some Offenders
In an effort to slow the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, the California Judicial Council adopted 11 emergency rules including the approval of an Emergency Bail Schedule. The statewide Emergency Bail Schedule set bail at $0 for all misdemeanor and some felony offenses. The Judicial Council, in Emergency rule 4, made the application of the statewide bail schedule mandatory for all of those people arrested and placed in pretrial custody as well as to all people held in pretrial custody.
According to reporting by CBS 13 Sacramento, some offenders were re-arrested within days of being released under California’s zero bail order. In a single week at least three suspects were rearrested for new crimes according to the article. The crimes ranged from possessing stolen property to vehicle tampering and resisting arrest.
KTLA 5 also reported rearrests of people released from jail amid the new emergency order. According to the April 22 story published by the news station, a man was charged with carjacking a mere 40 minutes after he was released from the Santa Rita Jail. Another released inmate was charged with “setting nine fires less than a week after his release from the Fresno County Jail.”
A similar story was posted by KCRA 3 when a man was rearrested on gun charges after being released one day earlier under the emergence $0 bail order.
COVID-19 has left us all in unprecedented times with an uncertain future ahead. It is unclear when emergency orders will be lifted and can be done so safely. The difficult decision is how to best protect the health and safety of those accused of a crime and the community-at-large.