According to a report by Reason Magazine, the Supreme Court denied a Georgia cash bail reform case on Monday, April 1, 2019.
The denied case was Maurice Walker v. City of Calhoun, Georgia, and it challenged how long courts and jails in the state can hold a defendant after arrest if they can’t afford their bail.
Maurice Walker was arrested in September of 2015 for public drunkenness and was ordered to pay a bail amount set at $160. At the time, Walker was living on his Social Security income of $530 per month, which made it nearly impossible for him to afford the set bail amount.
Walker Decides to Sue
Since Walker could not afford his bail, he spent a total of six days behind bars before release. While that doesn’t sound like a large amount of jail time, be mindful that the suggested sentence for public intoxication in Calhoun Georgia is a $500 fine with no jail time. Therefore, Walker spent more time in jail before conviction than he would have spent if found guilty.
In light of his situation, Walker decided to sue the court arguing that his 6 days of jail time was a violation of his constitutional rights. Especially since he was only kept in jail because he couldn’t afford bail.
Results of the Lawsuit
After the lawsuit, Calhoun changed its policy so that people who can’t afford bail will see a judge within 48 hours of their arrest. However, even though the city conformed to Walker’s wishes, the 48-hour policy found its way to federal courts. Why? To help determine whether even the short 48-hour policy is too long for defendants to wait to see a judge if they can’t afford bail.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld the 48-hour policy, but the Supreme Court declined to even consider the new policy and time-frame. This is, in fact, the second time in the last year where the Supreme Court has refused to take cases regarding the parameters of how to use cash bail.
Don’t Let the Same Thing Happen to You
While Maurice Walker’s situation was negative, he could have avoided it. How? By hiring a bail bonds company like us here at Anytime Bail Bonding, Inc. If you find yourself behind bars and unable to afford bail on your own, then don’t take your case to court. Instead, contact our team of professional Georgia bail bondsmen and we’ll get you out fast!