Bail Reform Champion Alec Karakatsanis opens up about California’s bail reform issue…and holds nothing back.
The current onslaught of bail reform in California can really be traced to two people: Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, and an “impact litigation nonprofit” attorney by the name of Alec Karakatsanis.
In 2015, “Equality Alec,” as he calls himself on twitter, along with Former US Attorney General Eric Holder launched a legal assault against what they would call the current system of monetary bail. Holder filed a statement of interest on behalf of the Department of Justice in what one commentator called a “petty bail case” in Clanton, Alabama in 2015.
While that effort has largely failed over the intervening three years, due to a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, it did put a spotlight on problems concerning lack of due process in bail setting and reviews. Pending bail related litigation in San Francisco and the recent Humphrey case are cases that he was either involved in or came from his legacy non-profit the Equal Justice Under Law Foundation.
Yet, Alec is the king when it comes to the current bail reform movement, about that there can be no doubt. Indeed, he has won many awards for his work, including the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year award, in addition to many others. He has lectured, written, and truly become the face of bail reform in the United States. At the age of 34, it is an impressive resume already.
When Alec recently presented in California as the keynote speaker at the UCLA Criminal Law Journal symposium on bail reform, he made some very interesting points that question the fundamental reforms of both Senate Bill 10 and the California Chief Justice’s plan. When you have the national expert on bail reform come to California, we thought it was important for public officials and the general public to hear directly from him on his thoughts on bail reform in California.
So, we took the liberty of putting the highlights together for you. It’s a long speech, so we had start somewhere.
SEGMENT 1: National Bail Reform Leader Calls California Attorney General Becerra, Senator Kamala Harris, and California Attorney General Gascon “Dangerous Political Actors Jumping on a Bandwagon” In Order to Promote an Agenda of Mass Incarceration.
Of course, you can always watch the entire five hour symposium here: