History of Bail

Sep 6, 2012 | Bail Bonds | 0 comments

The bail system that we have today in the United States originally came from England where it developed in the middle ages. In 1677, the Habeas Corpus Act was passed by English parliament. This act state that magistrates would set the terms for an individual’s bail.
Later, in 1689, the English Bill of Rights set limitations against “excessive bail” which eventually lead to the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 that all crimes, which were not punishable by death, would have the right to bail. When it came to capital crimes, whether or not bail could be posted was left up to the judge. This act also enforced the limitations that were put against excessing bail.
In the United States, bail law remained unchanged for nearly two centuries, from 1789 until 1966. In 1966 congress passed the Bail Reform Act, allowing defendants to be temporarily released from prison with as little a financial impact as possible. Before the Bail Reform Act, the bail system had been biased against the poor leaving innocent people unable to afford bail behind bars for months until acquitted or proven innocent.
In 1984, major revisions had been made to the Bail Reform Act. The 1966 Bail Reform Act had made it possible for the poor to be released on bail, however it had created a major loophole for dangerous suspects to be released on bail. The new revisions that were made in 1984 declared that individuals who were determined to be dangerous to the public would be held until their trial took place.
The new revisions also stated that those with repeated offenses, risk of flight, and very serious crimes could all be held without bail until their trial. The final revision made to the act is that those individuals who were eligible for bail would have to have a bail hearing. They would be required to appear before the judge to have the bail amount set for their release.

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