AP NEWS

Florida prosecutor will no longer seek bail for petty crimes

May 16, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prosecutor who got into a legal fight with the governor for her blanket refusal to seek the death penalty is announcing another big change. State Attorney Aramis Ayala says her office will no longer request monetary bail bonds for defendants accused of low-level crimes.

Instead, her prosecutors will recommend releasing defendants on their own recognizance, for crimes such as possession of small amounts of cannabis, driving without a license, panhandling, disorderly conduct or loitering.

Her prosecutors will still seek bail in cases of domestic violence, stalking, firearms offenses and other dangerous felonies.

Federal courts and President Barack Obama’s Justice Department have said it’s unconstitutional to jail people just because they can’t afford to pay.

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