Major Momentum Shift: Texas Legislature Squarely Rejects New Jersey-Style Bail Reform

As the gavel came down last night in Austin and the Texas Legislature adjourned sine die, a historic attempt by Senator John Whitmire and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht to undo Texas’s bail system was soundly defeated as the clock finally ran out on the legislation. Senate Bill 1338 and companion legislation would have implemented New…

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Federal Judge Issues Injunction Against Harris County Criminal Judges–Interlocutory Appeal Coming

After nearly a year of litigation, a U.S. District Judge in Houston issued a partial injunction against the Harris County Criminal Court at Law Judges on Friday, April 28, 2017. While reading the 193 page order could take the average lawyer weeks to understand, the injunction order clearly was limited to misdemeanor cases only.  Basically,…

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Deals Major Blow to Legal Effort to Declare Bail Unconstitutional

Atlanta, GA–Today, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals vacated a grant of a preliminary injunction in the federal bail case of Walker v. Calhoun, Georgia, where District Judge Harold Murphy granted an injunction against the city because the city’s bail system discriminated against people based on their wealth. The Court of Appeals…

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Harris County Bail System is Constitutional

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH’S SOLICITOR GENERAL, PAUL D. CLEMENT, INFORMS A FEDERAL JUDGE THAT HARRIS COUNTY’S BAIL SYSTEM IS CONSTITUTIONAL February 23, 2017             Late last week, Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement filed an amicus brief in the pending case ODonnell v. Harris County, Texas, et. al, where a group of Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed another copy-cat…

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U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE IN SACRAMENTO RULES SQUARELY AGAINST THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S EQUAL PROTECTION BAIL THEORY

U.S. District Court Judge L. Troy Nunley ruled against the U.S. Justice Department’s equal protection bail theory that was first advanced by the Eric Holder and the U.S. Justice Department in Clanton, Alabama some twenty-two months ago.  A group of plaintiffs lawyers have filed as many as fifteen cases around the country, alleging that the…

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DEFENDANTS AND GOVERNMENTS CANNOT AFFORD THE NO-MONEY BAIL MOVEMENT

by: Jeffrey J. Clayton, Policy Director, American Bail Coalition In a recent column that appeared in a major national publication entitled, “Justice System Too Costly for Unconvicted,” authors Cherise Fanno Burdeen and Bruce D. Beaudin wove a weak factual case into a litany of national narratives, ultimately concluding that “Our country’s pretrial justice system is…

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Jeff Clayton Discusses Lawsuit Against Harris County Texas Bail System

Jeff Clayton speaks with Houston Matters producer Edel Howlin on NPR Houston about Harris County’s bail system after a recent hearing held in US District Count. The lawsuit alleges the bail system in Harris County is unconstitutional because it jails offenders for minor crimes because they are unable to pay their bail set by the Judge.