Thursday, January 18, 2018

A New Low, Even for PBUS

So yesterday PBUS called for the arrest of Governor Dan Malloy, apparently because he's a "supporter of bail reform." It's actually worse than I make it out, because PBUS made this statement after signing a petition wanting him arrested for immigration issues, apparently thinking that any arrest of a bail reforming governor for any reason will somehow help the cause of keeping money and profit alive in bail.

This is so monstrously stupid, so incredibly dangerous, and so completely incomprehensible for a national "professional" association to do, that I have come to doubt whether PBUS knows anything at all about representing a group of people at the national level.

It's not the first time I've heard such things from PBUS, which apparently thinks running a national association is like shooting a reality show. I've known lots of national professional associations, and the worst of them is still a thousand percent better than PBUS.

But this seals it. If I say you aren't worth me even mentioning you anymore, then you're in big trouble. Bail agents, from now on, if you think you have any hope at all in this fight, you better place it with ABC. You won't hear "PBUS" from me any longer. There's simply no reason to believe that PBUS is an effective national organization that has any hope to change the tide of anything. It's become entirely irrelevant except to the extent that it harms your cause.

So long, PBUS. And keep up the great work -- it actually makes my job a lot easier.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

NYC Comptroller Calls for Elimination of Commercial Bail

So while ABC has been running around complaining about New Mexico and New Jersey, and while PBUS has been trying to get people to come to Vegas, this happened in New York City.

"This is about right and wrong, and it's about justice."

Hey, that's what I've been saying!

If things go as before, ABC and PBUS will now start ragging personally on the Comptroller and his family. Now that's an effective strategy!

Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK Jr. Day, 2018

"The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for 'the least of these.'"

Martin Luther King, Jr. 

"Can an indigent be denied freedom, where a wealthy man would not, because he does not happen to have enough property to pledge for his freedom?" 

Justice William O. Douglas

"The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal."

Pope Francis

"If you don't like the wealth-based [justice] system, then you don't like America."

American Bail Coalition

These quotes about wealth are brought to you by the American Bail Coalition, promoters of the American wealth-based justice system, and made up of the following bail insurance companies: 

AIA Surety
American Surety Company
Bankers Surety
Black Diamond Insurance Company
Palmetto Surety Corporation
Sun Surety Insurance Company
Universal Fire and Casualty Insurance Company
Whitecap Surety  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Bail Industry, Bribery, and the Maryland Senate

Here's the kind of story that makes you warm all over -- complete with bail industry people bribing state senators, undercover FBI agents, and boondoggle parties in Las Vegas.

Nice to know that bills in Maryland -- important bills dealing with pretrial release and detention -- are being discussed on their merits . . . uh, not.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bail Industry Loses Hard (Again, Again, Again) in New Mexico

I've already written about how the industry lost its motion for preliminary injunction in New Mexico. And I've already written about how the industry had their entire suit dismissed down there, too.

Well, yesterday the district court awarded sanctions against the bail industry attorney who brought the suit, writing that the lawyer added certain legislators and the state bail bond association for an improper purpose -- "namely, for political reasons to express their opposition to lawful bail reforms in the State of New Mexico."

These parties clearly lacked standing, and if you've been reading these posts, you'll remember that I already mentioned that standing was a thing courts expected lawyers to get right before they filed suit. He did other things, but this was a biggie. You can't use a federal court to try to prove a point.

Anyway, this will be a hard pill to swallow, given that literally everything the bail industry does is for political reasons. Somewhere in the opinion, the court notes that the attorney actually sent a letter to the New Mexico Legislative Council Service "promoting" the lawsuit, and offered to appear to the legislature to answer questions. You all should realize that this is the kind of conduct that ABC and PBUS thinks is quite normal. They won't even understand why it was wrong. 

I remember well the giddiness of convention attendees being told of the industry's new strategy to sue those states doing bail reform with these kinds of claims. This is the fallout, and anyone else besides PBUS and ABC would have seen it coming.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bail Insurance Companies Insult Connecticut Sentencing Commission

This is becoming a trend. On December 11, bail insurance company lobbyists wrote to the Connecticut Sentencing Commission and said, "As always, we look forward to assisting the Commission in any way we can as you continue your work in the service to the state."

Then, on December 14, the same bail insurance company lobbyists called the Connecticut Sentencing Commission a "kangaroo court" that "suffers from amnesia" and "rubber stamps" policies of their "lame duck" Governor.

Wow. Either something happened in those three days, or it's just more of the schizophrenic babbling of an insurance industry that doesn't quite know what to do. Well, in any event, you all should know that people on the Commission have seen the insults and don't appreciate them.

Hey, insurance dudes, didn't you watch Kingsman?

I mean, it's just bad manners.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Changing Constitutional Bail Provisions: Pretrial Release and Preventive Detention

I'm just adding this post to, once again, remind everyone that there are certain issues a state must examine before deciding to change a constitutional right to bail provision, just as there are issues that a state must address when changing them. Whatever a state does to a constitutional right to bail provision involves drawing a line between release and detention, and that requires legal justification.

My latest paper provides a model for states that are asking: (1) whether to change their right to bail provision; and (2) if so, to what? More importantly, it shows how to legally justify the change.

Here it is, called "Model Bail Laws." It assumes that the reader will read Fundamentals of Bail and Money as a Criminal Justice Stakeholder first, and those are cited early on in the Model Bail Laws paper.

Once again, if a state changes its right to bail provision, it will need to legally justify it. The only way to do that is to work through the issues presented in the model in the paper. I don't require states to necessarily adopt my model, but courts will require that they justify theirs much like I justified mine. If they don't, the new provisions run a real risk of being struck through any number of legal theories.

Not to get too complicated, but the same issues that go into changing a bail provision will illuminate the fact that many existing detention provisions are currently unlawful, simply because those provisions were likely justified through assumptions that are false today.

The model in my paper is kind of long and a bit complex, but if anyone calls I'll help to explain it.