COLUMBUS — The ACLU of Ohio issued a statement criticizing Republican efforts to enshrine cash bail in the Ohio Constitution, by advancing unnecessary, troublesome measures House Joint Resolution 2 and Senate Joint Resolution 5, both of which were voted out of their respective chambers moments ago. These proposals, introduced less than two months ago, use divisive rhetoric to blur the lines between cash bail and public safety.
The following statement can be attributed to Patrick Higgins, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of Ohio:
“Bail reform as we know it is under attack. HJR 2 and SJR 5 are distracting from proactive, bipartisan bail reform efforts that have been brewing for years. Ohioans need real pretrial fairness, not partisan schemes and false narratives. Simply put, the DuBose decision does not need fixing. DuBose underscores the longstanding constitutional principle that bail is excessive when it exceeds the amount necessary to guarantee the appearance of the accused person. Since its inception, cash bail’s purpose has been—and continues to be—ensuring court appearance for individuals accused of crimes. Cash bail does not promote public safety, is just allows people with money to purchase their freedom.
SB 182 and HB 315 remain better legislative options to meaningfully reform our broken cash bail system and the ACLU of Ohio will continue to advocate for measures that put an end to wealth-based detention. It is an absolute shame that these resolutions have been fast tracked through the legislative process in an attempt to undercut sound policy and substantive debate. HJR 2 and SJR 5 put politics over people and Ohioans will pay the price.”