For more than a year, Dallas County has been figuring out what to do about its cash bail system. There’s still a battle about it in federal court. But some judges have decided to move forward with a change they proposed earlier this year.
Tiara Cooper’s first offense was in 2013. She faced three counts of forgery and spent 90 days in jail because she could not afford bail.
“I do know I was wrong for what I did,” she said. “But the fact that other people are coming in doing the same thing I did, they are just as wrong as me. But if they have the money, they can go home to their families and work out their case.”
In 2018, a federal judge ruled Dallas County’s bail system unconstitutional deeming it unfair to defendants who may spend weeks behind bars because they couldn’t afford bail. The judge gave the county a January deadline to comply. District court judges unveiled a plan by that deadline. Since then, there hasn’t been much movement.
Some, like Judge Brandon Birmingham, are making the changes on their own. …
“I, as the elected judge, will look into it. The only reason they are in is because they don’t have any money,” the judge said. “And if the only reason they are in is because they don’t have any money, they need to be out unless they are a danger to the community.”
Excerpted from Fox4 News. View the full story here.