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Judicial Council Caves to Pressure to Rescind $0 Bail and COVID-19 Spikes

Attorney Jacqueline Goodman wrote an article for the Daily Journal titled, “Rule 4 rescission: untethered from reason" that was published last Friday, June 12, 2020. In the article, she condemned how the California Judicial Council voted 17-2 to rescind "Rule 4,” an emergency order which set bail at $0 for most individuals facing lower-level, nonviolent criminal charges.

A little over two months ago, the Judicial Council originally passed Rule 4 to reduce jail populations in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in overcrowded jails and other facilities. During the time that this emergency order was issued there have been far fewer inmate-related infections and fatalities, thus ultimately saving thousands from contracting the coronavirus. However; since the rescission of Rule 4, 13 inmates from the Fresno County Jail have been moved to the state prison. All 13 of them, 100%, tested positive for COVID-19. A week from the date Attorney Jacqueline Goodman’s article was published.

A few local prosecutors and sheriffs, who are more interested in being “tough on crime,” led a misinformation campaign to show how these released inmates go on to commit more crimes. The truth is only a few of the over 22,000 released individuals under Rule 4 committed another crime.