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State’s Attorney Sarah George to End Cash Bail in Chittenden County [Video]

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click to enlarge Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George - FILE: OLIVER PARINI

  • FILE: Oliver Parini
  • Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George

The top prosecutor in Vermont’s most populous county will no longer seek to hold on bail those awaiting trial for criminal offenses.

In a new policy she intends to release this week, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George instructs her deputies to refrain from asking the court to set bail as a condition of release.

“Imposing cash bail penalizes individuals based on their financial status rather than on their flight or public safety risk,” she writes, calling the system discriminatory and counterproductive.

Courts typically impose bail — an amount of money one must post in order to be released from custody — in order to ensure that defendants show up at trial. But according to George, the system is fundamentally unfair because it allows the wealthy to go free while others remain incarcerated.

“We’re holding poor people in jail and completely destabilizing their lives and the lives of their families …

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