Maryland’s unconstitutional bail reality
Recent action by the state’s judiciary rules committee seeks to address the fact in Maryland that pretrial freedom is often tied to one’s ability to pay bail, which the state’s attorney general has concluded is likely unconstitutional (“Wealth shouldn’t determine freedom,” Nov. 21).
The purpose of bail is to encourage appearance at court dates and ensure someone is not a risk to public safety. However, due to current practice, people who are high risk but have the means to pay are released, while low-risk people with no means to pay are held pretrial. In essence, if you’re poor the system works against you. It is unconstitutional for money to buy or deny you freedom, but that is the current reality of the Maryland bail system. Wecan’t allow that to continue.