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Maryland judges, commissioners shifting away from cash bail as reform debate continues

Maryland judges, commissioners shifting away from cash bail as reform debate continues

In the months since Maryland's attorney general said the state's cash bail system violates the constitutional rights of the poor, judges and court commissioners have been requiring fewer criminal defendants to put up money for their freedom.

Now they're holding more defendants without bail instead, according to data obtained by The Baltimore Sun. They're also releasing more defendants on their own recognizance, or on unsecured bonds that require no money down.

In some jurisdictions, the percentage of cases in which court officials have ordered cash bail has fallen in the last four months by more than half, the data from Maryland District Court shows. In Baltimore, the drop has...

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