bail | KERA News

bail

Robert Hart for The Texas Tribune

Taking a cue from the rulings on Harris County’s bail-setting practices, a U.S. district judge in Dallas issued a temporary order Thursday evening saying the county’s post-arrest procedures routinely violate inmates’ constitutional rights. The judge gave the county 30 days to change its ways.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

WACO — Gov. Greg Abbott wants the Texas Legislature to pass a bail reform law next year.

On Tuesday, the Republican governor announced his proposed Damon Allen Act, named in honor of a 41-year-old highway patrol trooper who was gunned down last Thanksgiving during a traffic stop near Fairfield, about 60 miles east of Waco. The suspect, 33-year-old Dabrett Black, was out of jail on a $15,500 bond at the time after allegedly assaulting a Smith County deputy.

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When people are arrested and can't afford to bail themselves out, they can sit in jail for days or even weeks awaiting trial. That may cost them their house, job or kids.

A 21-year-old SMU student is trying to level the playing field by starting a bail fund of his own.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

William Roundtree is part of a cadre of ACLU canvassers knocking on doors and talking to people at bus stops and shopping centers in Dallas County to raise awareness of a district attorney’s power to change lives.

It’s a power he knows all too well.

Rob Crow

On the heels of a federal ruling slamming Harris County for its bail practices, civil rights lawyers have now set their sights on a county with a similar system: Dallas.