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Is Cash Bail Constitutional?

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Maryland’s jails hold hundreds of people who judges say could be released on bail, but the defendants haven’t come up with the cash to pay the 10% bail fee. This month Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh issued an opinion that it’s probably unconstitutional to hold defendants in jail because they can’t afford to pay.  Frosh says the system upends the lives of many charged with minor crimes -- and doesn’t make Maryland’s citizens safer.

And we talk to a bail bondsman who agrees bail should be set so people can pay, but thinks most people awaiting trial in jail should be behind bars.

Read the opinion from Attorney General Brian Frosh.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.