Statement of Commissioner Gail Heriot in The Civil Rights Implications of Cash Bail, a Report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights


Gail L. Heriot

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On January 20, 2022, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report entitled “The Civil Rights Implications of Cash Bail.” The report looked at the bail system from a variety of angles. This Statement was part of that report.The Statement agrees that some proposals for bail reform may be meritorious (while others are not). But it also points out that with crime going up and elected officials discrediting themselves by promoting astonishingly wrongheaded plans to “defund the police,” useful reforms are unlikely at this time. Real reform in a democratic society requires that the leaders of the reform have the trust and support of many different constituencies. We’re not seeing that right now. The Statement also points out a number of errors in the staff-written portion of the report.