Biden wants to do away with cash bail, even for violent felons?

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

We’ve heard plenty of stories about “bail reform” over the past few years, few of them ending well. This is a progressive talking point that’s primarily been limited to changes in municipal law, though it’s shown up at the state level a few times, such as in New York. The goal is always the same, as is the supposed rationale for the change. If cash bail requirements disproportionately impact minorities it must, by progressive definitions, be racist, right? This week, however, we learned that proponents of this dangerous theory have gained a new and much bigger champion. As our friend and colleague Andrew Malcolm explains at Redstate, hidden away in Biden’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality is an alarming codicil calling for the elimination of cash bail in most cases from the federal level. And it’s all being done in the name of racial and gender “equity,” don’t you know.

Biden’s newest gimmick slithered out this week as part of his 42-page National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. The administration is claiming it’s the first of its kind, which doesn’t make something necessarily wise. There are often good reasons why such plans have not been attempted before. But who cares? It sounds good splashed across friendly media…

This latest cockamamie Joe Biden idea comes as violent crime has surged high on the list of Americans’ serious concerns, even fears. Last year’s murder number totaled 21,500 nationally, 77 percent involving guns. That’s almost 60 homicides per day every day all year.

That’s an increase of 5,000 in one year over 2019, the largest annual increase in U.S. killing in three decades. Murders climbed 35 percent in cities over a quarter-million.

Here’s the specific text from the “national strategy” paper explaining what he wants to do.

We are also committed to increasing federal oversight and accountability for police departments and prosecutors’ offices to address systemic misconduct, including gender bias and sexual misconduct.

And we will work to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system, recognizing the harm these processes cause, particularly for Black women and families.

This is pretty much just an example of cut-and-paste policy taken straight from the playbook of the “police reform” and “abolish the police” liberal bastions. And I think Malcolm hits the nail on the head when he suggests that this seems to be a situation where Biden’s team has been watching his approval numbers absolutely crater over the past few months and he’s trying to put some points on the board with his furthest left progressive base with this announcement.

In reality, disguising this initiative under the cloak of a “gender equity and equality” policy is fairly weak tea to begin with. Questions of cash bail impact everyone who winds up landing in the court system regardless of race, gender, religion, or anything else. In terms of so-called police reform, you don’t need any new laws or policies to address either gender discrimination or sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault inside a police unit. All of those things are already illegal. You just need to ensure that we are enforcing all of the laws and policies that are in place today.

As for the actual concept of so-called bail “reform,” Andrew Malcolm also does an admirable job of pointing out all of the inherent fallacies. What we’re really talking about is doing away with cash bail, supposedly because of the number of minority suspects who wind up staying behind bars because of it. The entire idea ignores the fact that most of those people are held on bail because they stand accused of (or have already been convicted of) serious crimes, including violent felonies. If they are repeat offenders and they can’t afford to bail themselves out while awaiting trial, that’s kind of the point. They would typically be greater flight risks or more prone to recidivism while awaiting trial.

And we’ve already seen the results that showed up after such “reforms” were enacted on the municipal level. New York City saw a flood of felons from Rikers Island showing up in local communities after similar, generous reforms were put in place. Bail reform also led to New Yorkers meeting the “prince of thieves,” who was arrested 57 times this year alone on charges ranging from serial shoplifting to assault. Each time he was back on the streets within hours. Chicago passed an almost identical law and saw a pronounced and well-documented increase in crime after it took effect.

And now Joe Biden wants to mandate this on a national level and write it off as some sort of gender equality initiative? Who’s writing the scripts for Uncle Joe these days? It’s not only bad policy, but the explanation for it doesn’t make any sense and looks as if it was generated using some sort of progressive Mad-Libs game.