"Senate Bill 10 creates a byzantine maze of court hearings that will ultimately result in greater pretrial incarceration, and at a minimum, new opportunities to incarcerate someone before he/she is determined to have actually committed a crime", says a statement from the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Does it go too far? California is the world's fifth largest economy.
Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, a senior strategist with the ACLU's Campaign for Smart Justice, said California's approach was not an improvement on the old system and sent a signal to advocates across the country to move ahead cautiously.
"It can not guarantee a substantial reduction in the number of Californians detained while awaiting trial, nor does it sufficiently address racial bias in pretrial decision making", said the three executive directors of the California ACLU affiliates, Abdi Soltani (Northern California), Hector Villagra (Southern California) and Norma Chávez Peterson (San Diego & Imperial Counties).
Brown said in a statement that the bill "preserves the rights of the accused, while prioritizing public safety". The state legislature has already passed a law that requires newly built homes to be equipped for solar power. Other states including New Jersey, Alaska and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems, although no other state has completely eliminated bail.
"This is a bill that has confused a lot of people because it does do something very positive, which is to end the bail industry", she said.
Such arguments are playing out in New Mexico after a judge made a decision to allow the release of several members of an extended family accused of child abuse at a desert compound. That time can be extended by 12 hours if necessary.
Brown's signature gives the state's Judicial Council, the policy-making body for California's courts, broad authority to reshape pretrial detention policies.
He continued, "SB 100 is an inventive blueprint for California - and other states and countries - to safeguard the climate in a time of otherwise risky capitulations to polluting fossil fuel companies".
The model that is driving the momentum for bail reform is the federal system, where defendants are often required to meet specific conditions for pretrial release (e.g., drug treatment, surrender of passports, electronic monitoring) or to sign contracts imposing stiff fees for non-appearance.