In re Humphrey (S247278) has been fully briefed and pending before the California Supreme Court for almost two years. As a general rule, a published Court of Appeal opinion has “no binding or precedential effect” while review is pending (Calif. Rules of Court 8.1115(e)(1)). The California Supreme Court, however, may so order otherwise (Calif. Rules of Court 8.1115(e)(3)). As reported by Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle, last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asked the court to utilize its authority to reclassify the Court of Appeal’s opinion as “binding and precedential” while the case is pending review. Becerra claims that the issue of keeping people incarcerated due to “their inability to afford bail has become critically important because of ‘the unexpected change in circumstances caused by the unprecedented impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.'”
Kenneth Humphrey, a repeat offender, was charged with robbery and burglary. Bail was initially set at $600,000, then later reduced to $350,000. Humphrey’s request for pretrial release on his own recognizance without financial conditions was denied by the trial court. The Court of Appeal decision granted Humphrey a new bail hearing in which inquiry must be made on his ability to pay money bail. If unable to pay money bail, non-monetary alternatives must be addressed. CJLF filed an amicus brief in the case that can be found here.
Continue reading . . .