A push to have Ohio judges consider public safety when setting bail took a step forward when the House Criminal Justice Committee advanced legislation supported by prosecutor and business groups across the state.
House Bill 607 adds the risk of public safety into bail consideration in direct response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision in Debuse v. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety.
Bi-partisan bills in both the Ohio state House and Senate introduced this week seek to reform the way the cash bail system works in the Buckeye State.
The dual legislation pieces, Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315, would replace the current cash bail system with a new one determined by a person’s ability to pay the bail.
Top players leading the movement to defund the police have declared their support for Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The two candidates’ backers include Black Lives Matter, Working Families Party, Mijente, and Black to the Future.
These groups supporting Warnock and Ossoff claim that systemic racism exists, and that police are a major component of it. They advocate for limiting police interaction and diverting funding from police into other programs, such as mental health assistance.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales is on the steering committee of “Our Black Party,” a political organization to defund the police. Morales has stated explicitly that she wants to defund the police and shrink the criminal justice system.
The Code of Virginia states that Commonwealth’s Attorneys are “a part of the department of law enforcement of the county or city in which [s]he is elected or appointed.” It is unclear whether Morales’s leadership within Our Black Party conflicts with her duties as a Commonwealth attorney.