It’s time Mary­land re­formed bail sys­tem

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Mike McKe­own, Bal­ti­more The writer is an at­tor­ney.

Its no won­der that Michael Hough re­jects ef­forts to re­form the bail sys­tem in Mary­land (“Leave Md. bail sys­tem alone,” Nov. 8). Mr. Hough is a for­mer staff mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Leg­isla­tive Ex­change Coun­cil (ALEC), which rep­re­sents con­ser­va­tive freemar­ket think­ing. Mr. Hough’s district is largely white; it doesn’t face the is­sues that Bal­ti­more City and other large ar­eas face. The U.S and the Philippines are the only coun­tries with a pri­vate bail in­dus­try. It’s time that Mary­land joined other states like Hawaii that have re­formed crim­i­nal jus­tice along pro­gres­sive lines. State law­mak­ers need to un­der­stand that it’s most likely un­con­sti­tu­tional to deny bail to some­one who can’t af­ford it — a po­si­tion ar­gued by the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice re­cently. Mr. Hough’s col­leagues at ALEC don’t need a place at the bail re­form ta­ble in Mary­land.

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