I have always maintained that one of the biggest tools of oppression in the criminal justice system is bail. The truth is that bail is traditionally used (at least in the big city courthouses where I've practiced) as a device through which to coerce pleas out of poor people who wind up copping out to get out.

So imagine my dismay upon finding that, according to an upstate paper (that deserves kudos for even identifying the issue)most of Syracuse's City Court judges are setting bail at two and three times more than they did 10 years ago for both the most serious and least serious crimes.

The paper goes on to report that In that time, the lengths of jail stays for people accused but not yet convicted of crimes has also doubled and tripled.


Jeremy said...

Does this have to do with general inflation (as gas is more than 2x as expensive as 10 years ago)? This would explain the increased $$$ amounts.

I think the bigger stat is that the "length of stay for the accused" has more than doubled. (!)

Keep on posting! Its a great blog.

Peter said...

Nah. "What cost $100 in 1995 would cost $124.42 in 2005." See the inflation calculator.

If you ask me, trends should be something for judges to reflect and comment upon.