WASHINGTON ― The Obama administration has joined the fight against the American bail industry, telling a federal appeals court that bail practices that keep poor defendants locked up because they cannot afford to purchase their freedom are unconstitutional.
“Bail practices that do not account for indigence result in the unnecessary incarceration of numerous individuals who are presumed innocent,” the Justice Department wrote in an amicus brief filed Friday.
The brief marks the first time DOJ has weighed in on the constitutional requirements of bail systems in a federal appeals court.
Bail practices in the United States often leave poor people languishing in jail simply because they cannot afford a certain amount of money to purchase their freedom. Many of the more than 800 jail deaths logged by The Huffington Post between July 2015 and July 2016 involved individuals who were incarcerated after being arrested for minor offenses and who…
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