Jerry Brown, who yesterday, near the end of his fourth non-consecutive term in office, finally had the opportunity to sign a bill abolishing cash bail in the state.

For decades Washington, D.C. has operated an effective pretrial system with nearly no money bail.

San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan supports releasing misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenders from jail in 12 hours without posting bail and keeping more serious offenders in jail until trial.

Of all guilty pleas made in 2017 for federal crimes, 97 percent come from plea bargains, not from trials.


The law will allow for defendants to be released after being arrested if they are deemed likely to appear for court hearings and pose little danger to the public.

The bill will determine a defendant's risk to public safety and probability of that suspect missing a court date rather than their ability to pay bail.

Surviving students from the Florida school campaigned successfully to get that state to adopt a law limiting gun purchases to residents 21 and older in March, and have called on California and other states to follow that lead. But it faced heavy opposition from the bail industry and some former supporters of the bill, who said significant amendments to the final version would unjustly expand the number of suspects in pretrial detention.

Others, meanwhile, argue it will allow risky people to go free and perhaps not return for trial. Bail reform has been working pretty well.


"Californians would be surprised that right now we're probably generating 30% to 40% of our electricity today from clean energy sources like wind and solar", said Dan Jacobson, state director of Environment California.

AB 1797 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, is expected to create a requirement for insurers writing residential property insurance to conduct a replacement cost estimate on an every other year basis.

Brown's signature gives the state's Judicial Council, the policy-making body for California's courts, broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies.

Some criminal justice reform advocates worry defendants will spend weeks in jail while their lawyers try to prove they deserve to be set free.


The new law lets counties set up their own pretrial assessment agencies or run their risk assessment programs through existing probation departments.

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