California Senate sends landmark bail reform bill to Gov. Jerry Brown

[Ed. – California, where nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong…]

California lawmakers on Tuesday passed a landmark bill that would overhaul the state’s cash-bail system, replacing it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.

The proposal moved out of the chamber with a 26-12 vote and now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown, who last year pledged to work with lawmakers and the state’s top Supreme Court justice to pass the legislation.

“Today, the Legislature took an important step forward in reducing the inequities that have long plagued California’s bail system,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday.

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The two-year effort puts the state at the forefront of a national push to change the way courts impose monetary fines and payments on defendants as conditions of their release from jail. But the historic victory has been bittersweet for lawmakers, as opponents — including some of the bill’s most ardent former supporters — argued the final version of the legislation could lead to more people behind bars.

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