Money Bail in Maryland: Should it stay or should it go?

Money Bail in Maryland: Should it stay or should it go?

Debate summary

On February 7, 2017, the Maryland Court of Appeals adopted a landmark rule to end the practice of holding criminal defendants in jail before their trial of they cannot afford bail.

The Maryland Public Policy Institute has already influenced the conversation over bail reform with a widely-read and shared op-ed, published in the Washington Post, in December 2016.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder both testified before the court and are allied with powerful groups who support eliminating money bail in Maryland.

Public safety advocates, including police and judges, and the bail bondsman community have objected to eliminating the bail system hastily.

Advocates for changes are pushing similar initiatives in other states including California, Kentucky, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Georgia through the courts and legislation. Maryland is at the center of these efforts.

Through this public debate, experts will discuss the effectiveness of the state’s money bail system, the potential impact of proposed changes on Maryland’s criminal justice system and other states’ criminal justice system and the political and policy impact any decision will have outside the state.

The Maryland Public Policy Institute is dedicated to hosting civil, nonpartisan debates like this to enlighten the public on the issues of our day.




Andrew A. Green

Opinion editor, The Baltimore Sun

Andrew A. Green, the opinion editor, was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government. He writes about state and local government, social issues and elections.

Photo's from event

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