URGENT – $0.00 BAIL ABOUT TO BE REVOKED
The Judicial Council is meeting this afternoon to discuss ending COVID-19 Emergency $0.00 Bail Schedule. If you’re so inclined, I highly suggest sending an email voicing your opposition. It will take maybe 15 seconds to do.
Dear Judicial Council,
I am a Private Defense Bar Member in Riverside County. I would like to offer you an update on Riverside County jail conditions.
Riverside County Jails continue to have active outbreaks of COVID-19, with multiple pods quarantined in multiple jails. Back in April, the Riverside Sheriff Chad Bianco disclosed 2 known prisoner deaths, and 2 known sheriff staff deaths. In reaction to these 4 custody related deaths, Sheriff Bianco said during a news briefing: “If you don’t wanna catch this virus while you’re in custody, don’t break the law.” (LA Times 04/27/2020).
Since that statement by Sheriff Bianco, the number of coronavirus positive prisoners has risen to 242. (https://www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus) One of the 2 prisoners who died, Salvador Garcia, was in custody for misdemeanor domestic violence and driving without a license. There is an ongoing multi-year federal case related to inadequate medical care provided by Riverside County sheriff to prisoners, in which a new order related to the coronavirus was recently made by Honorable Virginia A. Phillips. (https://prisonlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20.04.15-Doc-193-Order-Granting-Plaintiffs-Motion.pdf)
Our clients are not safe in custody during this ongoing pandemic. Being accused of a crime, while presumed innocent, should not subject someone to a potential viral death penalty nor other health impairments for life. The impact of the coronavirus upon prisoners is not over here in Riverside County.
It is immoral to delay trials that may free the innocent into September while ending zero bail now. Please reconsider and continue zero bail at least 90 days past the modified trial timeline extensions, so that our clients are protected from unnecessary health risks while we litigate their cases.