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Judge rules Cullman County bail system discriminatory

A federal judge ruled that Alabama's bail system illegally discriminates against the poor.

Posted: Sep. 13, 2018 3:18 PM

On September 13, 2018, a federal judge ruled Alabama's bail system discriminatory under the premise that jailing people who cannot afford bail is unconstitutional.

This ruling comes after the Southern Poverty Law Center, Civil Rights Corps and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama filed a lawsuit on behalf of Bradley Hester. Hester was held on a $1,000 bond he could not afford to pay.

The judge entered a preliminary injunction order to prohibit Cullman County's bail system from discriminating against the poor. According to the court, the county's bail practices deprive criminal defendants equal protection under "illusory and conspicuously arbitrary" justifications for using a bail schedule.

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