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Suffolk DA seeks to increase man's bail after learning the Mass. Bail Fund is about to pay it

CommonWealth Magazine reports DA Rachael Rollins wants a tenfold bail increase for a man charged with two armed robberies at the South Bay Mall.

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At least he has found a “home “ at South Bay jail. Roof over his head and 3 meals are better than on the street robbing people and places.

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That argument should convince any reasonable Judge.
Bailing him out let's him slip back into the shadows.

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Mass Bail Fund opposes ALL pretrial incarceration. Their goal isn't to just to eliminate bail as a tool, they want ALL violent criminals, including rapists, released until they can be convicted--regardless of how dangerous they are.  

https://www.massbailfund.org/news  

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nope, not at all

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In reading what was linked to, the first sentence is spot on. The rest is kind of right, though it definitely goes into the realm of opinion versus fact.

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tend not to work as well as intentional misrepresentation

it’s fairly obvious from reading the website that the mass bail fund isn’t some anarchist organization; rather they are working to curtail what amounts to the suspension of the right to a quick and speedy trial.

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>rather they are working to curtail what amounts to the suspension of the right to a quick and speedy trial

Where did you read that? Quoting the first sentence on their page which couldn't be clearer:

"The mission of the Massachusetts Bail Fund has always been to free people from jail."

https://www.massbailfund.org/news

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how does that sentence support your assertion?

Their goal isn't to just to eliminate bail as a tool, they want ALL violent criminals, including rapists, released until they can be convicted--regardless of how dangerous they are.

hint: it doesn't

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The Massachusetts Bail Fund is lying on their own webpage as to their philosophy.

I mean, it’s 2020, so that wouldn’t be the craziest thing, but they do say they oppose pretrial incarceration. I guess that’s what I get for listening to them.

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is very specifically their insistence on highlighting violent criminals. i understand it as a criticism, but they are framing as though releasing violent criminals is the idea, rather than MBF as a response to a system that has failed to function equitably.

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There have been examples of those accused of violent crimes benefiting from the Massachusetts Bail Fund. You know, like they guy in the story we are commenting on.

I am a profound believer in the idea that bail exists to compel attendance in court proceedings, not as a form of punishment. Compared to other parts of the country, we are very progressive with the idea. The default bail condition in the Commonwealth is "personal recognizance," with the prosecutors needing to prove the need for anything higher.

This is an awkward case. He guy has a long rap sheet, which sadly means he is likely to offend again, but if he wasn't homeless, he would have probably gotten some kind of home confinement. I'm willing to bet the Rollins' office has concerns that he will skip bail and is looking for a way to compel attendance in court. If the MBF has more skin in the game, so to speak, they would be more likely to ensure that the defendant appears when he has to. They would probably write off $5,000, but would be more invested in $50,000.

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that it's no simple issue. i believe that pre-trial detention is an issue that needs examination, regardless of Mass.' position relative to the rest of the country – especially in a case where there are systemic issues that predispose disadvantaged people to crime. there's certainly room for robust conversation about how to deal with that, but none of that is where my issue with what this commenter said lies.

Mass Bail Fund opposes ALL pretrial incarceration. Their goal isn't to just to eliminate bail as a tool, they want ALL violent criminals, including rapists, released until they can be convicted--regardless of how dangerous they are.

my issue is that this is a straw man, plain and simple. words mean things. in an age where a a major political party is declaring that socialism is slavery, i don't think it's that unfair to ask for accurate verbiage, or at the very least for the speaker to indicate when he is sharing an opinion.

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It is not a strawman argument because I'm not even arguing with anyone! I'm just clarifying that bail is not the core issue here--it's pretrial incarceration.

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Just increasing the bail is a cop-out out of actually making the required legal case and it's unfairly punitive to those with fewer resources.

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Your basic armed robbery is a 16 month process at least. A guy like this probably has 25-75 previous arraignments for crimes, which means he is highly likely to commit another crime within those 16 months. When and if he does that, everyone points their finger at the DA when the DA doesn't really want guys like this to be free either. Odd move by the DA here though, you don't see something like that often.

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And after 16 months it's hard to track down witnesses and get people to do what is needed to get to a conviction. So people who should go to jail get off and those that are innocent have spent the last 1.5 years dealing with a looming trial.

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So she should have incorporated that into the initial bail hearing.

If someone needs to stay in jail, say so.

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The whole "right to a speed trial" thing in the Constitution not being honored is a serious problem and the state should be funding the court system, including public defenders, to get this back on track. But nope, the legislature is more concerned about turning the hiring of court officers into a patronage empire to feather-bed the retirement of their pals.

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First the excuse for bailing out dangerous criminals was that the DA should hold dangerousness hearings. Then when that was debunked as a false narrative, now you pivot to claim the true intent is to ensure a speedy trial? Nope.

The Mass Bail Fund clearly states their goal:

"The mission of the Massachusetts Bail Fund has always been to free people from jail. We are a non-judgmental, abolitionist bail fund"

If you can't support your claims with direct quotes from them then please don't misrepresent their intention. Thank you.

https://www.massbailfund.org/news

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We do this work because pretrial detention is harmful and racist. Pretrial detention keeps people in cages for months or years, causing them to lose their housing, lose their jobs, lose their children, and potentially lose their lives. And throughout the Commonwealth, judges and prosecutors impose higher bails on Black and Brown people than white people for the same categories of offenses.

your turn!

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While the quote you present discusses the length of pre-trial detention in terms of months and years, it in no way concedes that any amount of pretrial detention is acceptable. In fact, the MBF offers no opinion as to WHEN the trial should occur. This is most likely by intent because as it relates to conviction rate, it is not always in the best interest of the defendant to demand a quick trial. A strong defense will often take a significant amount of time and resources.

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my point is that your assertion that

Mass Bail Fund opposes ALL pretrial incarceration. Their goal isn't to just to eliminate bail as a tool, they want ALL violent criminals, including rapists, released until they can be convicted--regardless of how dangerous they are.

while technically true—albeit in the same way that all dogs are vicious animals who should be chained up is technically true—is not *at all* their primary stated motivation. it’s editorializing on your part, and i feel i’m being generous in saying that.

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Hey man, no need to insult my dog! She's the sweetest doggie ever--and I have to go walk her right now so I have to keep this short.

Your dog statement is FALSE. Not all dogs are vicious. All dogs are animals though.

The statement regarding the Bail Fund aiding "violent criminals, including rapists" is 100% accurate. Yes, they also aid others, but my statement was meant to raise concern about the violent criminals in particular.

Also, a dogs got personality--personality goes a long way.

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Not sure if I’m missing something here.

Normally if you skip bail, you forfeit that money.

If the MBF pays the bail, it seems the accused has much less of an incentive to appear than if a friend or relative pays your bail. Most people wouldn’t want to screw over the friends/family that got them out of a bind, but a foundation they probably hadn’t heard of before?

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I would like to see some data to back this up. According to MBF only 3% of people they've posted bail for have "skipped" bail. Also, I could easily see a person skip bail that a rich uncle paid or a dad they hate paid. Or if they have a problem with addiction. Or any number of reasons. But data would be helpful regarding this topic. The data from MBF looks pretty good.

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The MBF is quoting statistics for ALL people arrested, including those release without bail on personal recognizance, which tells you that their crime was quite minor. That obviously skews the results and masks the real concern here which is violent criminals reoffending. They're also counting people held in jail awaiting trial as "not reoffending", which is technically true but not an indicator of how they would act if not in jail.

So the statistic of concern is how many violent criminals will reoffend and a quick google search reveals the shocking statistic:

Violent offenders recidivated at a higher rate than non-violent offenders. Over 60 percent (63.8%) of violent offenders recidivated by being rearrested for a new crime or for a violation of supervision conditions.

https://www.ussc.gov/research/research-reports/recidivism-among-federal-...

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If they're too dangerous to be let out after arrest, then why is there any level of money that will get them out? Seems like that should be the case that the DA is making here rather than just saying "let's pick an arbitrary amount of money that we won't have to justify but that will act as a punitive measure only the less well-off".

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First, that link has nothing to do with the state of MA or any of the local folx that MFB provides bail for. It is about federal crimes, so really it has nothing to do with MFB or DA Rollins.

Second, recidivism, in this report, is about being released after they've served time for crimes they were convicted of. No one being held on bail has been convicted of the crime they are held for.

Third, this report shows many things. One of which is that IF 64% of violent offenders commit violent crimes again THEN jail time is certainly not a deterrent, doesn't actually keep people on the outside safe (except when they're in jail) and might even make people more violent. All that is more proof that the mission of MFB to keep people out of cages just might be a good thing. So thanks for your link.

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It's always fun to watch people who ran on a reform platform become part of the problem once they are in the system. I had high hopes for Rollins, but she's sounding more and more like every other DA who she would have chastised in the past.

See also: Stephanie Pollack at MassDOT

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The guy has Been charged with two armed robberies. Have you not seen the store attendants who’ve been killed by repeat offenders who were out on parole/bail? It’s to protect the rest of society

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If he's too dangerous to be let out on bail, they should prove so and hold him without bail.

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Has "power corrupts" ever been shown to be not true?

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Why are we imposing a cash bail at all when the goal is to have this person not get bailed out? This whole system strikes me as broken

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It sounds like the DA wanted to keep this guy locked up pending trial but didn't feel like making that argument in court. Instead they got bail set at $5k knowing an indigent defendant would be unable to post it or pay a bondsman $500.

Tough shit for the DA that her office didn't want to put in the work and argue that this guy wouldn't appear for trial if released.

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We need to revamp the system. It shouldn't take so long to have a full court case.

We should get trial dates set and performed quicker. Get rid of bail for petty crimes and eliminate bail for big nasty crimes. Those would get pushed ahead so people are not detained for long periods of time but it keeps them off the streets. Bail doesn't seem to be working as intended in almost any case.

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eliminate bail for big nasty crimes

That's a direct violation of the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution.

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Preventative detention is allowed without bail, assuming that is what is meant by "big nasty crimes"

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But not without a hearing.

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No, it is not. In fact we already do this with some cases.

Read the amendment. Read the history. Read the case law.

Even the wording doesn't say what you say it says. There is nothing in that amendment that says bail is required. Just that it shouldn't be excessive. By speeding up the trial process you would remove the major barrier to not keeping someone in custody, that the trials can take years to happen. Let's face it, if you are accused of murder and are out on 50k bail how much are you really going to get done legally? Even if you are fully innocent. Honestly I would rather just be done with it , assuming evidence and defense can be mounted.

As for smaller offenses, I'm not all that afraid smaller level criminals will miss their cases at a higher rate without bail.

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and you guys still won’t lick it. i wonder why

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This guy probably should have, and should be, institutionalized in a Psychiatric Hospital. But very few exist in August 2020.

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Well the same mindset of people behind the bail fund were against institutionalization in psychiatric hospitals once psychiatric prescriptions became a thing and the excuse was that pills could solve the problem at home. Now we have legions of mentally ill homeless people not taking or trading away their meds wandering the streets in far worse conditions than the most mismanaged mental asylums ever had.

One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest did horrendous damage to the mental health system in the US. As did the overselling of pyschiatric medications as a better, cheaper, and more humane alternative to inpatient care facilities. The community based care which was supposed to materialize with medications never did. Politicians celebrated the cost cutting of closing the facilities and the more 'humane' treatment of patients by sending them home, without acknowledging many of the people in those places didn't have homes, homes that wanted them, or wouldn't be able to maintain a home even with medication.

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https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/08/24/suffolk-da-rollins-says-office-i...

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Monday said her office is pulling back a bid to jack up bail for a homeless man following uproar against the elevated bail request.

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