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Ohio chief justice announces review of state bail system

January 24, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s chief justice has convened a task force to study the state’s bail system for possible changes.

The committee created by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court will compare Ohio’s bail and pretrial systems with those in other states. It will also study state and federal lawsuits challenging the use of cash bail.

The report from the 24-member task force is due in April.

Last year, O’Connor sent a letter to more than 650 judges urging them to avoid imposing excessive fines, fees or bail simply to raise money.

A 2018 Ohio legislative proposal would have required judges to assess defendants’ likelihood of skipping out on court appearances based on a variety of factors instead of a strict system of cash bail.

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