Nor­folk pros­e­cu­tor plans to end cash bail in many cases

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SUNDAY IN VIRGINIA -

NOR­FOLK — The top pros­e­cu­tor in Nor­folk says his of­fice will end cash bail in many cases.

The changes in Vir­ginia’s sec­ond-largest city are an ef­fort to avoid the “crim­i­nal­iza­tion of poverty” while mak­ing the sys­tem fairer for peo­ple of color, The Vir­ginian-Pi­lot re­ported.

“If you’re poor and you hap­pen to be black, then chances are your rate of in­car­cer­a­tion is higher,” said Com­mon­wealth’s At­tor­ney Greg Un­der­wood. He said bail shouldn’t “need­lessly” make a de­fen­dant’s life harsher than it should be.

Some­one charged with a mis­de­meanor can be re­leased with­out putting up bail. Some­one ac­cused of a felony can be re­leased with­out bond un­der cer­tain con­di­tions like pre­trial su­per­vi­sion. De­fen­dants would still be sub­ject to cash bail in cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, felony vi­o­lence, stalk­ing and other vi­o­lent crimes.

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