I’d just like to weigh in quickly on the subject of equal treatment under the law. I’m currently serving eight years for stealing a bottle of whiskey. My bail before trial was more than $100,000.
Forget that this is a shoplifting case, and that I’ll be serving time locally (in Woodland, at the county jail) at a cost of roughly $45,000 per year on the taxpayers’ dime. Forget that more than six years of my eight years are for prior convictions and prison terms already served, and you’re still left wondering why there is such a huge dollar amount attached to a seemingly petty crime. And yet, as was pointed out recently, a person was killed and the defendant in a hit-and-run is out of jail for less bail money. Why?
Because there is a rubber-stamp-type bail schedule that was set by some unknown agent or group of agents (paid by public funds!) that an out-of-touch judiciary body has decided to follow regardless of any individual factors in individual cases.
It comes down to this: It’s not fair to rubber-stamp any portion of our justice system. Each case should be weighed from start to finish as an entity unto itself and weighed against laws after it has been weighed against the service of public good.
The huge inequity possible in the misapplication of the letter of the law as some kind of trump to the reasonable application of justices does not serve the people of the state of California (or anyone else). A common-sense policy should be drafted and adopted.
P.S.: Seventeen months to go! Roughly $65,000 more in tax dollars.