If an arrestee can be “admitted to bail,” (meaning pretrial release is not precluded), California law authorizes four different methods of pretrial release, only one of which has a monetary requirement. Those four methods include (1) money bail; (2) release on own recognizance (“OR”); (3) OR under supervision; and (4) pretrial diversion. At an arrestee’s first court appearance, a judge will decide if he or she should be released on OR (with or without supervision) or on money bail.
The California Supreme Court’s Humphrey decision announced yesterday initially acknowledged OR as a type of pretrial release, but then they completely ignored it as they delved right into the unconstitutional disparities of money bail. The court also glossed over the fact that Humphrey requested OR release under supervision twice and was denied twice. The trial court denied his request for OR release due to the seriousness of the crimes committed (first-degree residential robbery, first-degree residential burglary, inflicting non-great bodily injury on an elder or dependent adult, and theft from an elder or dependent adult PLUS three prior strikes), the vulnerability of the victim (a 79-year-old man), and on the recommendation against OR release from pretrial service’s Public Safety Assessment Report. In addition to public safety concerns, the trial court was also concerned that Humphrey was a “flight risk.”
What is OR release? Had the court taken the time to examine it in a bit more detail, the public would better understand that it is a discretionary non-monetary alternative to cash bail contained in Article I, section 12 of the California Constitution. Continue reading . . .