Last-minute Confusion as Dallas County Scrambles to Meet Feds' Deadline to Remake Bail System

Dallas County officials have had months to figure out how to comply with a federal order to stop using fixed cash-bail amounts as a condition for release from jail.But on Tuesday, the day before the deadline, confusion abounded about what exactly future bail hearings will look like. The county’s top staffer said the situation was in “limbo.”Still, county officials remained confident they’d iron out the details.“There’s no question come tomorrow that we’ll be in compliance with the court order,” Philip Morgan, a private attorney representing Dallas County, told county commissioners on Tuesday.A federal judge had ruled in September that assigning bail amounts from a predetermined schedule based on the offense and criminal record — for example, $1,500 bail for burglary of a vehicle — was unfair to poor defendants.  Continue reading...

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