April 2018 Bar Bulletin
By Jaime Hawk
“In our society, liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.”
— United States v. Salerno1
In Washington, thousands of people are held in jail on bail after an arrest. Everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. When a court imposes bail, however, only those wealthy enough to afford their bail amounts are actually released from custody. Everyone else sits in jail because they are too poor to pay the bail amount.
Washington court rules generally mandate the release of people accused of crimes before trial. Yet the imposition of money bail that people...