Bail Reform in San Antonio Led by the Honorable Judge Ron Rangel
The Bail Clause prohibits bail that is excessive—without regard to whether it is unaffordable. The fundamental purpose of bail is to tie a defendant to a jurisdiction and guarantee his appearance at trial. Advocates in the ongoing wave of bail reform should concentrate their arguments on policy grounds rather than on calls for reinterpretations of the Constitution.
The Honorable Judge Ron Rangel of San Antonio is leading the misdemeanor bail reform in San Antonio while gaining endorsements of the bail policy. Currently, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, DA Joe Gonzales, and Chief, Public Defender Michael Young have endorsed this reform, and will look to carry it out modeling Harris County's recent bail reform. Harris County underwent a similar type of reform that San Antonio looks to emulate.
Bail is set to ensure defendants have financial incentive to return to court. The system in place in New York state led to low-income defendants — particularly people of color — being held in pretrial detention, while their wealthier peers could afford to pay for their release. We see this in every state, especially here in Texas.
Judge Rangel received the support to move forward on bail reform in Bexar County.
See the letter below.
This story will be updated regularly.