Would MLK be for or against eliminating cash bail?

Adrian Holman

Today is the national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Day) in which we reminisce about his life and his achievements. He never shied away from controversy because choosing to do right will always be contrary to the corrupt and to the mediocre masses that wallow in neutrality.

One of the most controversial topics throughout the USA now is the elimination of cash bail. This debate started in 2019 when the state of New York put an end to cash bail for non-violent felonies and all misdemeanors.

Those who are for the elimination of cash bail say that a person that cannot pay bail be preemptively booked in prison before trial due to the cases being thrown out in court and due to a judge declaring the offender as innocent in which that person would have been in jail for months before the trial. Opponents of the bill say that there should be consequences for committing a crime.

The debate spread to California in 2021 when the California Supreme Court ruled that holding a person in prison solely because that person could not pay bail was "unconstitutional."

The debate has now reached a fever pitch when Illinois lawmakers passed the SAFE-T Act last year. The Illinois law looking to eliminate cash bail took things a step further by looking to end cash bail for crimes such as second-degree murder, arson, robbery, and possession of illegal firearms.

About sixty years ago, Dr. King was arrested in Birmingham for peacefully protesting. Even though he was wrongfully arrested by members of The Thin Blue Line, he did not say that cash bail needed to be eliminated; he paid his bail.

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