Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I didn't say you were on to something, I said you were on something.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                 

Bail Bets

Reform of the bail system
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

Currently, unless you fail to turn up in court or do something similar such as skip the country during the duration of bail you have your bail deposit returned or any surety given cancelled.

I think this is both weak and one sided.

This idea substitutes current bail for a bet. When offered bail at $10,000 and decide to take it, if you are subsequently found guilty, you forfeit the full sum (bet lost). If you are found not-guilty then you will have the funds returned to you, sureties cancelled, and you will obtain an additional payment of e.g. 50% (bet won, total winnings $5000).

In this way, guilty people will not take up bail and can make a good start on rehabilitation and general imprisonment. Innocent people will be automatically have some form of compensation for having had to bail themselves.

The government will start losing money on every false set of charges or poorly prepared case they bring to court, and they will see a strong financial incentive to charging all guilty persons even for minor offences where clear evidence exists. Things which they would have previously turned a blind eye toward, such as drug use by celebrities, would now be golden opportunities to obtain forfeited bail.

Of course, some of the funds could be used to pay for the subsequent imprisonment and 'rehabilitation' of guilty persons.

I do not see this as an unfair system because: i) Under the US constitution bail cannot be excessive ii) Persons who do not wish to risk their bond are quite welcome to remain a guest of the government until they reach trial iii) It builds in an aspect of benefit to wrongly charged persons whereas the current system fails to differentiate those who are rightfully held (guilty) from those who are not

vincevincevince, Apr 23 2008

[link]






       The odds for a payout if innocent should not be fixed at 50% (3/2) but should be based on the conviction rate for the crime of which you are accused. The only tiny flaw in this idea I can see is that some people might try to make a living out of seeming to commit heinous crimes for which they get bailed, reveal a cast-iron alibi for in court, and collect their winnings.
hippo, Apr 23 2008
  

       your system has a major flaw based on the implication that one is guilty if they do not take bail. What if they cannot afford bail? What if they simply don't want bail(perhaps being in jail is better than being on the street)?   

       I find the current system to have a very fair and impartial aspect to it. if you follow the rules it does not matter guilty or innocent your money is returned and the system has done its job which is to assure your appearance in court.
jhomrighaus, Apr 23 2008
  

       //What if they cannot afford bail? What if they simply don't want bail(perhaps being in jail is better than being on the street)?// Bail cannot be excessive (as per US Constitution, 8th amendment) so being unaffordable would be unconstitutional. Even so, I am sure bail bondsmen could come up with winning-sharing solutions for innocent people. And if they don't want bail - then there is no difference between this and the existing system (no payments made and they stay under lock and key until trial).
vincevincevince, Apr 23 2008
  

       "Bail cannot be excessive (as per US Constitution, 8th amendment) so being unaffordable would be unconstitutional."
Patently false. Bail is a compromise between keeping everyone locked up and making sure people show up for their court date. You'd charge no bail to the very people least likely to return to court. In the case of wealthy people who are flight risks, bail is very typically set to some astronomical figure so they either won't make bail or won't skip bail.
  

       Also, that $10,000 bail doesn't actually cost $10,000. The bailee usually pays 10% of whatever amount at which bond is set.   

       Lastly, where do the funds for the "additional payments" come from?   

       "Things which they would have previously turned a blind eye toward, such as drug use by celebrities, would now be golden opportunities to obtain forfeited bail."
Is this really a problem? Can you tell me how "forfeited bail" is different from "fine"?
phoenix, Apr 23 2008
  

       The problem is that your system assumes guilt based on bail status. Additionally you make an assumption that guilty parties will not take the bail, however even in the current system people make bail and still skip out. In this circumstance the bail bondsman will contract with a bounty hunter(skip tracer etc) to recover the lost individual, in this circumstance the skip forfeits their deposit to the bondsman(who actually paid a much higher sum to the court) and the bonds man pays his interest on the money, the bounty hunter and pockets the rest. If the skip is not found the bondsman forfeits his payments to the court but still retains the deposit. I'm not sure on this but i also believe that bondsman charge interest for providing a bail bond(its essentially a high risk loan) They will not make a bond if they feel that the person is to great a risk.
jhomrighaus, Apr 23 2008
  

       //The problem is that your system assumes guilt based on bail status.// Not at all. All persons, guilty and not-guilty remain able to decide to make a bail payment or to stay in custody of the court. The only differentiation here comes following the verdict, where a not-guilty verdict results in winnings on top of the bond and a guilty verdict results in losing the entire stake.   

       //10 percent// If the 10% system is kept in place then upon a guilty verdict, the 90% will become collectable; and on a not-guilty verdict the winnings will still be based on the 100% value.   

       //They will not make a bond if they feel that the person is to great a risk.// Bail bondsmen are just one option when it comes to bail.   

       //Is this really a problem?// Yes. The media etc. are full of information about drug use by celebrities, the TV is full of foul and abusive language, and may other things which are criminal offences which get 'let slide'. Celebrities almost always make bail (else their career suffers greatly) and their bail is often very high in reflection of their means. A guilty verdict for cannabis use for a celebrity could net the government a massive amount of funds in forfeited bail.   

       //Can you tell me how "forfeited bail" is different from "fine"?// Yes. You don't get to chose whether you pay a fine or not. Forfeited bail is your choice - if you reckon you'll be found guilty and don't wish to forfeit your bail - just don't make bail and await trail whilst under custody.
vincevincevince, Apr 24 2008
  

       Your idea would give incentive to find the innocent guilty...
Voice, Apr 24 2008
  

       //Voice// - the foundation of the judicial system is that it must be believed to be fair and unbiased. And, there are already many incentives to find innocent people guilty (clear up rates, crowd pleasing, racism, politics, etc.)   

       Don't forget that the financial implications of incarceration are going to be much higher than the forfeited bail. The cost of locking an innocent person up for even a month will be larger than the saving they make by not having to pay a bonus on the bail return.
vincevincevince, Apr 24 2008
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle