General Assembly sends bail reform bill to Delaware governor

DOVER, Del. - (AP) - A measure aimed at reforming Delaware's bail system has become the first major piece of legislation sent to Gov. John Carney this year.

News outlets report House Bill 204 cleared the Senate with a 15-5 vote Tuesday, following its June passage in the House of Representatives. The Democratic governor is expected to sign the bill.

The legislation doesn't eliminate cash bail, currently one of the most common methods used to ensure defendants show up for court. Instead, it encourages judges to first consider setting other pre-trial release conditions using a newly developed risk-assessment tool.

Reform proponents argue that cash bail disproportionately disadvantages the poor, and can impact jobs, housing and child custody.

Bail bondsmen have said the measure would cost jobs.

Opponents and proponents both cite recidivism in their arguments.


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