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bail reform
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Pressure Grows to Shrink Jail Populations Due to COVID-19 Infections

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is facing renewed calls to shrink jail populations to help people avoid possibly contracting COVID-19 as the state has become the nation’s biggest virus hotbed. By the end of June, more than 8,200 inmates in the Texas prison system had tested positive for COVID-19 and 79 prisoners had died of the Read More

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Texas Bail Reform Seeks to Balance Public Safety and Defendants’ Rights

In Texas as elsewhere, bail allows criminal defendants to be released pending trial, under penalty of forfeiting their bail bonds if they fail to appear. Bail decisions are based upon the seriousness of the criminal charges and on the defendant’s criminal record, risk of flight and danger to the community. But in actual practice, bail Read More

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Texas Bail Reform Litigation Highlights the Need for Counsel Immediately Upon Arrest

Miranda warnings have been a thorn in the side of prosecutors since the 1963 landmark Supreme Court ruling made denial of the right to counsel a ground for voiding a confession. But while a defendant may demand to have a lawyer present during questioning, there is no explicit right to representation at another critical stage Read More

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Texas Bail Reform Legislation Falls Short, But System Improvements Are Underway

More than two years after federal courts ruled cash bail systems in Dallas and Harris counties unconstitutional, the Texas legislature has been unable to pass bail reform legislation. In May 2019, the House passed a bill that would have implemented measures to make bail more available to poorer defendants. But the bill never made it Read More

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