General Question

crazyguy's avatar

What do you think of The Bail Project?

Asked by crazyguy (818points) 1 week ago

I had never heard of the Bail Project. Then, between yesterday and today, I have learnt extremely disturbing details about it.

First of all, the Bail Project is a non-profit, funded primarily by rich dudes and some suckers. It is used to aid and abet riots in various cities. Examples:

1. They arrange for bail for rioters arrested in various cities on various charges. This is primarily to ensure that the rioters can return to their assigned duties.

2. Riot support gear was furnished to rioters within minutes of the Grannd Jury decision in Louisville from a U-Haul van rented by a Bail Project associate.

The CEO of the Bail Project consented to be interviewed today. But he backed out, and has agreed to appear on Monday. His name is Michael Novogratz.

Please watch the following show and then answer the question.

The show is Tucker Carlson’s show on your favorite channel, Fox News. If you have to, hold your nose while watching it. I recommend the entire show; however, the Bail Project is covered in the first 10–15 minutes. Since the show just finished, a direct Youtube link to the entire show is not available yet – it will be soon.

In the meantime the following link covers the first 30–35 minutes of the show.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stS303OEw1k

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64 Answers

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elbanditoroso's avatar

I think that if outrages Tucker Carlson and makes you angry, it is probably a really good thing for America.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

I pretty much find all cable news and pundits irritating, but Tucker Carlson is just particularly grating to me.

seawulf575's avatar

I had never heard of the Bail Project before. So I did some research. @crazyguy Just a side note, any time you give a link that takes the user to a site that lefties don’t approve of, they stop right there. They will not, under any conditions, actually address the substance of the citation…they just get hung up on the source. I think the jellies that commented before me will prove that point adequately. But back to the research. I went to the home page to see what it is all about. My take on them is that they are one of two things: either a scam created for the sole purpose of helping keep the soldiers on the front lines of the riots or they are an extremely idealistic but misguided group that is presenting a huge danger to the public as a whole.

seawulf575's avatar

And because I know many bleeding heart liberals or America hating lefties are going to get upset with my analysis, let me explain. The Bail Project, by their own words, feels that being in jail is a bad thing and that people need to be treated with more respect than that. So they established a program that will bail them out and put them back on the street. People are arrested for committing crimes. If they commit a crime bad enough to get thrown in jail, that means they are removed from society until they can got to trial for their crimes. The law does allow a person to post bail in some cases which would allow them to get back out into public, but they are responsible for the cost of that. It injects responsibility into the situation. If they skip their bail, they are out the money they paid up front. But now someone else is paying that bill, so the criminal has no negative impact from committing their crime. They know (as do many other would-be criminals) that if they commit a crime, someone else will get them out of jail. And in some cases these criminals go out and commit even more violent crimes up to and including murders.
So now let’s consider the reason this group exists. It is possible that it is altruism and a truly misguided belief that they are somehow helping. I find this unlikely since their own claims show a glaring hole in their logic. They assume that criminals need to be treated with respect and would benefit from being out of jail. What they forget is that the criminals are there because they didn’t treat others with respect. They are not respectable people. So that is pretty much an explanation of them being misguided. But then there is the other option: that they are there to cause as much hate, discontent, and civil/social unrest as possible. So they take people that are rioters and looters and bail them out so they can go right back to the efforts of destroying this country. Some of the instances in the citation I just gave also show they take extremely violent offenders and put them back on the street. And many of these go on to commit even more violent acts. Every violent act is just another step towards making our society more unstable. Combine this with the huge efforts to get rid of the cops, and you are looking at making complete mayhem and chaos of our nation.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know much about it, but it is up to judges to set bail or not set bail. So, part of the equation is the judge. Does the person have a record? What were the specific circumstances?

I don’t want all looters and rioters simply excused for their behavior, I think they should be arrested and be charged if they were indeed stealing and damaging property, but some people might be arrested because they were simply present and not looting or rioting, so that needs to be sorted. Some people were possibly antagonized by the police and got arrested. The person doesn’t necessarily need to wait in jail while it’s sorted, it really depends on what happened.

ragingloli's avatar

To frame the organisation’s sole purpose “to get rioters back to rioting”, is a gross misrepresentation of their cause:
https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/the-bail-project-pays-defendants-bail-as-part-of-a-plan-to-end-money-bail-entirely

Robin Steinberg, CEO of the Bail Project: ”So, when I became a public defender, I had no idea how bail system operated. And it doesn’t take long when you’re a public defender to stand in a courtroom next to a client, watch a judge set bail, and have the client turn to you and say, “I don’t have that money.”

And, inevitably, what happens is, the client will turn to you and say, “I will just plead guilty. They will let me go home.”

And you want to scream. And you think yourself, nobody should go to a jail cell because they don’t have any money. But that’s what happens every day.

So, jail is terrifying, and it’s violent, and it’s dehumanizing. It can do everything from destroy your mental health to your physical health. You can be sexually victimized. You can be one of the many jail deaths that happen in the first week of jail. You can lose your home. You can lose custody of your children. You can be deported.

There’s a whole cascade of problems that can happen and destruction that happens to you and your family and to your community, even if you’re there for one day, two days or three days in jail. It’s a horrifying place to be.

So The Bail Project is an unprecedented effort to disrupt the money bail system. The idea is to create a central bail fund that we will then use to open sites in at least 40 places in America where we can begin to use philanthropic dollars to pay people’s bail who don’t have enough money to get out of those jail cells.

Remember, these are people that have not been convicted of anything. These are people that are simply charged with something. By using philanthropic dollars, we actually pay somebody’s bail. And, at the end of a criminal case, because bail money comes back, it will revolve back into the fund.

Bail was actually created to be a form of release. It wasn’t intended to hold people in jail cells. And it wasn’t intended to create a two-tiered system of justice, one for the rich and one for everybody else. But that is exactly what it’s done; 75 percent of people in American local jails are there because they cannot pay bail.

These people haven’t been convicted of a thing.

Until we grapple with what the reality is on how our country has been addicted to imprisonment for as long as it has existed and since slavery to mass incarceration have happened, we’re never going to get at the root of the problem, that the root of the problem there is structural racism.

And at the root of the problem, there’s income inequality. And those are big issues we need to deal with.

We also need to really ask ourselves, do we believe in the presumption of innocence, or don’t we? If we believe in the presumption of innocence, then, when somebody is arrested, that presumption should wrap around them.

And we don’t believe in it, let’s grapple with that. But if we believe in it, nobody should be sitting in jail cells who haven’t been convicted of anything.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/brief/276899/robin-steinberg

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli Robin, thanks for your detailed, sincere answer. I’ll just make a few points in response.

1. Typically, a judge will set the amount of bail based on a defendant’s ability to pay. Not just based on the crime charged. In some cases like a murder charge, no bail is available.

2. I agree that jail is not a fun place to be. Back in my silly youth, I spent one night locked up.

3. “Remember, these are people that have not been convicted of anything.” True. What is also true in most protest-related arrests is that there is usually irrefutable video evidence of the crime being committed. Posting bail frees up the defendant ‘completely’; s’he can do anything s/he wants to, including the activities that led to the arrest.

4. “And at the root of the problem, there’s income inequality.” I think both income, and wealth, inequality play a part. Raising taxes on the rich solves income inequality in the short term – until the well-paid manage to sneak in tax breaks. Fixing wealth inequality in a sustainable manner is impossible. Examples of countries that have been subjected to extreme actions to fix the problem are France and Russia.

5. “And, at the end of a criminal case, because bail money comes back, it will revolve back into the fund.” Do you have statistics on what percentage of funds do not come back?

hmmmmmm's avatar

I’m not going to watch Tucker Carlson. And without directly researching this Bail Project, I can guess that it’s a good thing. Why? Cash bail is immoral and is a way of criminalizing poverty. And locking up dissidents for fighting a brutal police state is also immoral. So, if there is an organization that is fighting the bail system while getting people out, that is a good thing. If you have any specific issues with this that you want to discuss that doesn’t involve people having to watch Tucker Carlson, please elaborate.

ragingloli's avatar

Just FYI, I am not Robin Steinberg

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Your answer tries to have the best of both worlds.

Yes, it is up to a judge to set the bail. Unless the alleged crime is a murder, bail is almost always offered as an option. The amount is based to some extent on “flight risk” and defendant’s “ability to pay”. A defendant’s prior record is also a consideration.

You say ” don’t want all looters and rioters simply excused for their behavior, I think they should be arrested and be charged if they were indeed stealing and damaging property, but some people might be arrested because they were simply present and not looting or rioting, so that needs to be sorted. Some people were possibly antagonized by the police and got arrested. The person doesn’t necessarily need to wait in jail while it’s sorted, it really depends on what happened”

That is a motherhood and apple pie kind of statement that means nothing in this context. We ALL want the innocent to be set free and not even charged. We ALL want the guilty to pay for their crimes. The only question is what happens before the trial.

Making an arrest in a protest is not a risk-free operation. I do not think the police do it just because they are ordered to. They KNOW that they will have to explain their actions in court. In most protest-related crimes, there is usually irrefutable video evidence. Sometimes the only defense is: “Your honor, that was not me!”

crazyguy's avatar

@hmmmmmm You say “Cash bail is immoral”. Is looting “immoral”? How about throwing a Molotov cocktail at a guy/girl just doing his/her job?

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 Thanks for your answers and comments.

I agree that a link to Tucker’s show was not a good idea. Perhaps I should have linked “The Bail Project” website.

You and I are just whistling in the wind. However, I keep hoping that perhaps one or two dissenters will see the light and help the cause. I mean, if anybody cannot see what is happening with the riots and the lack of law enforcement, they obviously have blinders on.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “You say “Cash bail is immoral”. Is looting “immoral”?”

Depends on what you mean by “looting”. If you mean looting as in what the rich do every day, or the mere existence of the military industrial complex, or the relationship between capital and workers – yes, looting is immoral. If you mean the relatively small amount of looting that is the result of a public reaction to state violence against the population? No

@crazyguy: “How about throwing a Molotov cocktail at a guy/girl just doing his/her job?”

No.

If your job is to brutalize the population, resistance to the person carrying out that action is correct.

crazyguy's avatar

@hmmmmmm Even by the relatively loose standards of this forum, I think your views are extreme.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “Typically, a judge will set the amount of bail based on a defendant’s ability to pay.”

You honestly believe that? Do you still believe in the tooth fairy as well?

seawulf575's avatar

@crazyguy I did link the Bail Project web page….gotcha covered! Apparently none of the leftist jellies bothered to read it since some actually posted links to other sites that just repeat most of what is on the Bail Project website. You give the people the information, but you can’t make them read it.

seawulf575's avatar

@ragingloli “Remember, these are people that have not been convicted of anything.”
AND
“And, at the end of a criminal case, because bail money comes back, it will revolve back into the fund.”

Maybe they do things differently in Germany, I don’t know. But in the USA, many times a person is thrown into jail for crimes long before they go to a trial. That is when bail is set. The purpose of bail is to ensure that, if the person is let out of jail, they will show up to the actual trial. The bail can be obtained through a bail bondsman at a rate of 10 cents on the dollar usually. So if the bail is set at $1000, the person can give $100 to the bondsman and the bondsman will promise $1000 to the court. If the person does not show up, that $1000 is forfeit at some point. So to assume that once the person goes to trial the money is returned is not a valid statement. It makes the gross assumption that the criminal will show up when and where they are supposed to . That does happen, but it also happens they they don’t. Many times they will show up because they don’t want to lose whatever they used as collateral for that $1000. If someone else is paying it with no strings attached, the chances are good that the person will either go out and commit more crimes or will just not show up at court. There is no negative for them at all…nothing driving them to behave. You have removed all responsibility from those people.

seawulf575's avatar

@hmmmmmm It sounds like you leave it up to the individual to determine what is acceptable or not. So if I decided I didn’t like the rioters, I could just go out and shoot them until they go away and that would be moral in your view? If not, why not? What makes it immoral? I view their actions as a savage attack on innocent people and businesses. I could come up with whatever reason I want and call it a moral purpose, right?

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ragingloli's avatar

@seawulf575
Feel free to bring up your objections and naive assumptions of judicial fairness with the founder of the organisation, a lawyer and public defender with over 30 years of experience.

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Jaxk's avatar

This is not about bailing out some poor slob that got caught-up in the protests. As with most issues the point is simple. If you want to keep the riots going, you need to get these people back on the street as soon as possible and with as few repercussions as possible. Pay their bail and they are back on the street the next night rioting. If you want the riots to stop, there must be some price to pay for your actions.

If you think the riots are good, bail those suckers out. If you think the riots are bad let them suffer the consequences. Simple as that.

crazyguy's avatar

@Jaxk I tried to find out from @ragingloli if he knows what percentage of the bail money advanced does not come back to the Bail Project. I am still waiting for an answer. However, given human nature, I would be surprised if much of it comes back. After all, why would a defendant who bears ZERO personal responsibility for the funds go to court. S/he figures the Bail Project has plenty of money.

If there is anybody here who thinks violence against the police and looting are good, they should be booted off.

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 , @ragingloli and @hmmmmmm Your petty arguments do no belong in this space. Please take them elsewhere.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “If there is anybody here who thinks violence against the police and looting are good, they should be booted off.”

Perhaps you should petition to become a moderator then.

SergeantQueen's avatar

“If there is anybody here who thinks violence against the police and looting are good, they should be booted off.”

No, no they should not

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “If there is anybody here who thinks violence against the police and looting are good, they should be booted off.”

crazyguy's avatar

@SergeantQueen @hmmmmmm @Darth_Algar Please do not bother communicating with me any more. I do not waste my time with those who believe justice can only come from the barrel of a gun.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “I do not waste my time with those who believe justice can only come from the barrel of a gun.:

‘da fuq?

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ I have no idea.

ragingloli's avatar

Violence has often been used to overthrow oppressors.
The French Revolution, the French Resistance under Nazi occupation, hell, your country was founded on terrorism against the British Crown, and then you waged war over slavery.
Your second amendment “enthusiasts” are fantasising about doing a lot worse than rioting, and even started a deadly shootout with federal pigs over looks up notes a farmer illegaly using federal land.

ragingloli's avatar

Or, to paraphrase right wing author Heinlein: Violence is the supreme authority, from which all other auhtority derives.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@crazyguy I do not personally support any violence against the police, nor do I support the rioters or the looters.

I believe in freedom of speech, and I think that as long as people do not actively incite violence, they can say as they wish. Do I agree with people who support violence against police? No. But they are allowed to support that.

Do you want to be silenced for your views? Just because someone doesn’t agree with you? No. I don’t think you do. So don’t try and silence others.

Jaxk's avatar

@crazyguy – There may be more money coming back into the fund than you think. Remember that many of these prosecutors are dropping the charges so the money is returned anyway.

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crazyguy's avatar

@SergeantQueen First off, my apologies for lumping you with @Darth_Algar and @hmmmmmm. I have gone back and checked your post; you did not agree with my opinion that those who support violence should be booted off. As you have clarified, you do not personally support violence against the police.

I still think support of violence implies encouragement of it, and therefore, anybody who supports it is guilty of encouraging it, and therefore has no place in a discourse of rational ideas.

Violence is a rejection of free speech.

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 I have to disagree with you. I do not see the moral equivalence between gunning down protesters and protesting against perceived police excesses. However, any violent behavior and/or looting deserves stern action. I do think any business owner would be perfectly justified in gunning down anybody trying to smash his storefront.

The violent protesters are, in their hearts, cowards. You could see that clearly in the St. Louis confrontation between the protesters and the armed homeowners.

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli A word like “oppressors” implies that you and your associates have deemed a certain category of people to fit a description of your choosing. Violence against a ruling class can be justified only in a historical context, almost never in the moment.

Also, violence against a people who have a role different than the one being protested is counter-productive. For instance, killing a policeman who just happens to have drawn the unfortunate duty of guarding a building the mob is determined to destroy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

You must be a pole vaulter to make the kind of leap you’re making there.

ragingloli's avatar

@puddlemutt

Yet again you have to be reminded of your own history.
The generation long campaign of genocide against the native americans.
The enslavement of an entire people based on their skin colour, and their subsequent oppression that continues to this day.
Concentration camps to lock away a large group of people based purely on their Japanese ancestry.
A decades long streak of overthrowing politically inconvenient foreign governments, and installation of brutal dictators, simply to serve the colonial global haegemony.
Secret torture camps and an unaccountable campaign of assassinations and drone terrorism.
Child concentration camps with forced sterilisations.

And how did Hitler get to power?
He got there by playing on the German’s anger about being blamed for WW2 and the terms of the treaty of Versailles that forbade the country to have a military strong enough to pose a threat to its neighbours.
He got there by exploiting the country’s economic woes caused by the colonies-caused Great Depression.
He got there by vowing to “Make Germany Great Again”.
And last but not least, he got there because the conservative parties, trying to ride the coat tails of his rising popularity, backed him, because they thought that once in power, that he would mellow out, and that they could control him.

Once in power, he proceeded to take control of the media, outlawing newspapers of political opponents, seizing their printing equipment, and using it for his own.
Even the term “Fake News” has its origins in the word “Lügenpresse” (lying press), that the Nazis used to disparage opposing newspapers, particularly levelled against those of a “jewish-marxist” nature.
He had his own personal secret police to terrorise political opponents.

In case I am not completely clear, Hitler’s rise to power mirrors the rise of drumpf much more closely, than you fantasise it resembles an oppressed people protesting against police brutality, police corruption, and the very real systemic racism infesting the justice system.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ One critical moment in history that you have left out – and @crazyguy is sure to remind you – is that the Nazis were defeated by a strongly-worded letter.

@crazyguy – Your entire political ideology is one that explicitly supports mass violence and murder. To lecture someone who refuses to condemn property violence or a single molotov cocktail while the police are out here brutalizing the population without punishment and with state approval is rich.

Extremism is not an insult – especially when it is used to describe people resisting a literal fascist movement and a brutal, violent police state. But it is interesting to have found your “free speech” limit. You feel that advocating for violence is completely fine when you do it. You are opposed to people pushing back against this violence.

seawulf575's avatar

@ragingloli “He got there by playing on the German’s anger about being blamed for WW2 and the terms of the treaty of Versailles that forbade the country to have a military strong enough to pose a threat to its neighbours.” Wrong. He was the antagonist in WW2. Sorry hoss. Try again. But your statements actually make my points very well. They all boil down to one simple thing: He stirred up the mobs. He used a variety or reasons, but in the end, that is what it was all about. He stirred up the masses. He got those masses to go along with hating Jews for….well, for being Jews. Thank you for making my point for me.

seawulf575's avatar

@crazyguy The moral equivalence is that what is being shoveled at us is that any action: looting, rioting, arson, even killing people, is justified because they see the end justifying the means. That means they are saying that the ones committing the crimes are being allowed to determine what is wrong and what actions are acceptable to correct the wrong. That is mob mentality. So if that is what they consider acceptable, I posit to them that, by that rationale, any action taken by anyone should be considered acceptable, as long as they are trying to fix something they think is wrong. The actions are ALL crap, just as going out and shooting protesters would be. But the mentality…the ideology…the justification shows there is no difference at all.

ragingloli's avatar

I meant WW1. Simple typo. Something easily recognised from the context.
Apart from that, the point still stands: Drumpf’s rise to power mirrors that of Hitler.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Context? What is context?

crazyguy's avatar

@seawulf575 I am still having difficulty understanding what you are stating. I fully understand the words. I think that you are saying both actions follow the principle of the end justifying the means. That is what I have a problem with.

seawulf575's avatar

@crazyguy That IS what I am saying. And I am using the idea of murdering protesters as an example of where that silly principle could lead. I am not endorsing such an idea…I find the whole principle to be flawed from the start. It is the principle of chaos, mob rule, and anarchy.

Irukandji's avatar

Since you are using Tucker Carlson as your source, you should probably know that Fox’s own lawyers have argued in court that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer arrives ‘with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes” and that he “cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect.” In other words, Fox News itself does not consider Tucker Carlson to be a credible source.

crazyguy's avatar

@Irukandji I did not use the information provided by Tucker as my source. I had the good sense to check it against the Bail Project’s own website.

I would recommend you do the same; and then answer my question.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

So what on the Bail Project’s site leads you to the assumptions you’re making in this thread?

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