As a result of the recent lawsuits in Harris, Dallas, and Galveston counties, many other Texas counties have exhibited concerns about their vulnerability for lawsuits regarding bail schedules and pretrial release. Out of fear of undergoing similar litigation, counties are now making unnecessary changes to their existing bail systems, putting public safety at risk. Unfortunately, a mass misinformation campaign from our opponents has only fueled these concerns, and it's important our elected officials understand the truth.
(Letter From Roger Moore) you will find a comprehensive background summary from Roger Moore, an attorney in Austin, about the Fifth Circuit's ruling in O'Donnell v. Harris County. It's absolutely critical local elected officials from across the State receive this letter and understand its core components, chief among them:
1) Bail schedules are permissible as long as an individualized hearing is provided to the defendant within 48 hours for those who claim they are unable to pay the set amount, and;
2) Defendants are not automatically entitled to PR release solely because they cannot afford the preset bail amount.
It's important for our industry and our state that you get this important document out to your local officials by emailing it to your local judges, or scheduling meetings with them to discuss its contents in detail and hand them the documents yourself.
For your reference, we have also put together a one-page summary directly quoting the 5th circuit (1Pager) regarding these 2 critical issues. Please review this in case your judges or other officials have questions about where to find this information in the 5th circuit's rulings.
Counties must stand strong against external pressures by special interest groups to overhaul the bail system. You are on the ground each day fighting for your businesses and livelihoods, and you know your elected officials better than we do.
Please help us combat this misinformation by sharing this linked document with your local officials: Letter from Roger Moore.