(The Political Insider) The Sheriff of San Bernardino County has blasted California for introducing a new emergency $0 cash bail that forced him to release a suspected child abuser.
In order to reduce jail numbers during the coronavirus crisis, the California Judicial Council issued a rule dictating that all misdemanor and most felony suspects will have a cash bail automatically set at $0. There are 13 exceptions to this for felonies that are serious and violent, including murder and domestic abuse suspects.
However, Sheriff John McMahon of San Bernardino County said the rule was dangerous and unsafe.
“I just don’t think it’s good government, and it’s not safe to force the release of people on zero bail,” McMahon told Fox News. “We’ve already started releasing those fresh arrests that weren’t on the list of 13,” McMahon continued. “The first night into Tuesday morning, there were 6 people arrested on felonies and were released on zero bail.”
McMahon was furious that he was forced to release a suspect that had been arrested for child abuse, as felony child abuse was not on the list of 13 exemptions.
“So even though this guy had a prior for domestic violence conviction for child abuse, he gets arrested for child abuse again, and then he gets released on zero bail with a court date in July,” McMahon said, adding:
“So that just doesn’t make any sense to me, maybe I’m missing something, but that doesn’t seem to me to be the right thing to do to protect the citizens of our county. If that person is in our custody, we can protect the victim, if he’s not, we can’t. In today’s times, you have to work pretty hard to get into jail, and the folks that are in custody are generally the bad folks, and they’re in jail for a reason… To come in for felony child abuse and you have priors for it, and to get released on zero bail and walk right back out of the jail, that is not good government, and it’s not safe for our residents, and it is frustrating, absolutely.”