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California courts to end $0 bail order imposed for coronavirus

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Posted at 6:44 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 21:52:52-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California judicial leaders are ending a statewide policy of imposing $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies that reduced jail populations by more than 20,000 suspects during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Judicial Council of California on Wednesday voted 17-2 to end the 'zero dollar' bail schedule on June 20.

The Judicial Council says zero-dollar bail could be re-instated if health conditions worsen or change.

The Judicial Council said the policy helped ease crowding in jails, which are potential hotspots for spreading the virus. Law enforcement leaders criticized the bail reduction, while public defenders say the $0 bail should continue.

The state's Judicial Council abruptly delayed other votes on ending emergency orders suspending foreclosures and evictions during the coronavirus pandemic while state lawmakers scramble to expand the safeguards.