Hundreds of bail agents convened at the Capitol on Tuesday to oppose Assembly Bill 42, one of two measures moving through the Legislature this year that would largely eliminate the use of money bail in California. The bill ultimately advanced out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a 4-2 vote.
Among those testifying was Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, star of several reality shows about his work capturing bail fugitives. While acknowledging shortcomings in the current approach, Chapman said it would be unfair to crime victims to replace bail with the proposed system, where anyone not assessed as a danger to the community or a flight risk would be released from jail. He also said bill supporters are wrong to argue that money bail unfairly punishes low-income people by keeping those who cannot afford high bail rates stuck behind bars.
“Poor people don’t break the law,” he said. “They don’t go outside, they don’t have the money. It’s not the poor man that runs. He has no money to run. It’s just an excuse to say that.”