250 to be released from LA County jails to prevent overcrowding during pandemic, judge says

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Under the terms of a Statewide Emergency Bail Schedule, 250 people with low-level felony and misdemeanor cases awaiting trial will be released on their own recognizance without having to post bail, according to the presiding Judge Kevin C Brazile.

Eligible cases were identified by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, along with Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo Garcia, the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender Erika Anzoategui, and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, in an effort to help lessen overcrowding in jails.

Overcrowding is especially problematic during the coronavirus pandemic because it does not allow inmates to practice social distancing.

“Justice partners in Los Angeles County are continuing to work with the Court during this unprecedented public health crisis to protect public safety while achieving social distancing inside our courthouses and the jail system,” Presiding Judge Brazile said. “On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California promulgated emergency rules to be used during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Pursuant to Emergency Rule 4, Supervising Criminal Judge Sam Ohta has so far signed 19 orders releasing more than 250 persons eligible for release under the $0 statewide bail schedule.”

Those who are released will be given a Promise to Appear document with a court date on it.

Emergency Rule 4(c) lists the types of cases the Statewide Emergency Bail Schedule does not apply to.

Emergency Rule 4(b) orders that each court must apply the Statewide Emergency Bail Schedule orders to all accused person arrested and in pre-trial custody and every accused person in pretrial custody by 5pm on April 13.

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