People, especially politicians, misunderstand the purpose of bail

Posted 21 February 2022 at 5:50 pm


A writer to the Orleans Hub complained that I misinterpreted Congressman Chris Jacobs’ position on bail reform.

So I want to make my position clear. If there is any evidence that the bail reform law makes citizens less safe then the law should be changed. To date there is no such evidence.

We all want safe communities. We also all want equal justice. Bail is a set of conditions to assure future court appearance by someone accused, not convicted, of a crime. In this system those with means are set free, those without means are held in jail. This establishes unequal justice.

The writer makes the following statement: “These politicians and political organizations that spread the message of hate towards police officers are undoubtedly largely responsible for the 346 law enforcement officers shot in 2021, and 115% increase in ambush-style shootings of law enforcement officers in 2021 that Congressman Jacobs referenced.”

I know of no politician or political organization that spreads a message of hate towards police officers. Perhaps the writer could provide some examples. To be clear any politician that disrespects police officers, or any public servant, should not hold office.

The writer also makes the following statement: “The bottom line is when an individual is arrested and released on an appearance ticket (when under previous bail laws, they would have been off the streets), and then commits more crimes, those crimes could have been prevented.”

I agree 100 percent. If we could detain those who will commit future crimes than we should. However, that information is unavailable to us mortals. Both the Constitution of the United States and our basic sense of justice prevents us from locking up individuals for crimes they may commit in the future.

Mr. Jacobs has no anti-crime policies so he is scapegoating the bail reform law to create a sense of fear in the electorate. We elected Mr. Jacobs to help make issues, like crime, better for all of us.

Instead Mr. Jacobs is using fear to obscure and confuse the issue. This area need a representative. Mr. Jacobs is not that person.

William Fine