SEIU MEMBERS APPLAUD CA SUPREME COURT’S RULING: LOCKING PEOPLE UP BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD BAIL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Sacramento, CA (March 26, 2021) — The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015 and Executive Board Member of SEIU California, after the California Supreme Court ruled that courts must consider a defendant’s ability to pay before imposing cash bail:
“Cash money bail is a cornerstone of injustice in our legal system. Working alongside Assemblymember Rob Bonta, now California’s incoming attorney general, and Senator Bob Hertzberg, SEIU members led the fight to stop the bail industry from profiting off a system that criminalizes poverty and all too often people of color. Now, California’s Supreme Court has declared that locking people up solely because they can’t afford bail is also unconstitutional. We welcome today’s ruling. It advances the goal of equal justice within our legal system.
“Living in poverty has too often been treated as a crime, and we are gratified that California’s highest court has rejected criminalization of poverty inherent in money bail. SEIU members will continue the fight to reform our justice system to achieve fairness for all Californians, no matter how much money is in our pocket or whether we are Black, Brown, API or white.”