New Washtenaw County prosecutor: No cash bail to get out of jail

Associated Press
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Ann Arbor – A new prosecutor in the Ann Arbor area has told his staff to not seek cash bail for people accused of crimes.

Eli Savit said assistant prosecutors in Washtenaw County can ask a judge to impose certain conditions on defendants after an arrest but posting cash to get out of jail won’t be one of them.

“The size of a person’s bank account should never determine their freedom,” Savit said Monday.

“Under a cash bail system, poorer people – even those who are accused of relatively minor crimes – are forced to sit in jail for days, weeks or years,” he said. “At the same time, cash bail allows wealthier people who are accused of serious crimes to go free pending trial.”

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit

Savit said his office still will seek pretrial detention in major crimes, especially if someone poses an imminent threat to the community.

Judges determine conditions for pretrial release, but a prosecutor’s position is an important part of the decision, Savit said.

Savit also announced changes in "zero tolerance policies," allowing more discretion for prosecutors and judges to pursue charges and to deliver sentences.

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