Florida - Vote NO on H.B. 967 Determining Bail

House Bill 967: Determining Bail was introduced in Florida on December 11, 2017 by Florida Representative Ramon Alexander (D-FL-8).

This Bill would virtually eliminate the fundamental constitutional right to bail in criminal cases and simultaneously let hardened criminals out of jail for free because they say they are poor.  In addition, this Bill undermines judicial discretion in determining pretrial release by creating a system of “catch and release.”

This legislation will cost the State of Florida hundreds of millions of dollars, which will instead go toward new criminal welfare programs.  This move will also put out of business hundreds of multi-generational, mom and pop commercial bail companies, which are mostly minority and women owned businesses.  These companies deal with criminal defendants on a daily basis at no cost to the citizens so that justice can be done...and victims have their day in court.

Criminal Justice Reform has been marketed around the country as a cure-all for our increasing crime problem, but in reality these reforms end up weakening accountability in the criminal justice system by fundamentally making it easier for repeat criminals to get out of jail.

To compound the problem, the use of new ”black box” computer algorithms are supposedly going to be able to predict who is going to commit another crime and who is going to flee. These computer algorithms have already been found to not only be ineffective but also have the potential to unfairly racially profile defendants.  Ask New Jersey how well that is working out for them—their new bail computers, which began in January 2017, are handing “get out of jail free” cards to “low-risk” heroin dealers, child sex offenders, gun criminals, and hardened gang members.  Even prior felons are being released on nothing more than a “pinky promise” to appear. HB 967 will destroy criminal accountability in Florida, give repeat criminals a free pass, all while wiping out an entire private industry that has served our communities for over 200 years…at ZERO cost to taxpayers.

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SAY NO to Senate Bill H.B. 967 

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