CONGRESSMAN LIEU STATEMENT ON DOJ ANNOUNCEMENT ON MONEY BAIL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Justice Department filing an amicus brief in the 11th Circuit Court on Friday arguing that requiring inmates to pay bail to be released before a trial violates their rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment. Congressman Lieu previously introduced H.R. 4611, the No Money Bail Act, which would prohibit the use of paid bail in federal criminal cases.
"I applaud the Justice Department (DOJ) for taking action to argue what many have long known to be true: Our money bail system is unjust, ineffective, and in violation of our 14th Amendment rights. We cannot both be a nation that believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, yet incarcerate over 450,000 Americans who have not been convicted of a crime solely because they cannot afford bail. America should not be a country where freedom is based on income.
"It is high time for our nation to follow the lead of the several cities and states across America that have taken steps to replace money bail with a risk-assessment system. The No Money Bail Act is the no-brainer solution to this nonsensical problem, and I urge the Republican Majority to bring the bill up for a vote."
According to DOJ's Office for Access to Justice (ATJ), roughly 60 percent of the people in U.S. jails are pretrial defendants, up from 50 percent in 1996 and 40 percent in 1986.