Home Contra Costa County District Attorney Becton Issues Statement on California Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Humphrey Case

District Attorney Becton Issues Statement on California Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Humphrey Case

by ECT
Diane Becton

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issues a statement regarding yesterday’s California Supreme Court decision to regarding the Humphrey case concerning the cash bail system in California:

“Yesterday’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court is crucial for reforming the broken cash bail system in California. The growing number of defendants remaining behind bars simply because they cannot pay bail is unacceptable. No person should be forced to remain in pretrial custody simply because they cannot afford bail. Poor defendants are forced to remain behind bars awaiting their trial date. There are numerous options for pre-trial release conditions, including treatment programs, electronic home detention and counseling. We must continue to have judges consider the safety of the community and the victim’s rights during a bail hearing and review if an individual can afford the bail amount.” 

The opinion is In re Humphrey.

The full 29-page decision is available here.

Editors Note –

What brought Humphrey, 66 years old, to this point was his arrest on May 23, 2017, for first degree residential robbery and burglary against an elderly victim, inflicting injury on an elder adult, and misdemeanor theft from an elder adult.

The complaining witness, 79-year-old Elmer J., told police that Humphrey had followed him into his Fillmore District apartment in San Francisco, threatened to put a pillowcase over his head, and demanded money. When Elmer said he had no money, Humphrey took Elmer’s cell phone and threw it to the floor. After Elmer handed over$2, Humphrey stole an additional $5 as well as a bottle of cologne. Before leaving, Humphrey moved the victim’s walker into the next room, out of reach. At arraignment on May 31, 2017, Humphrey sought release on his own recognizance (OR) without any condition of money bail. He cited his advanced age, his community ties as a lifelong resident of San Francisco, and his unemployment and financial condition. He also noted the minimal value of the property he was alleged to have stolen, the remoteness of his prior strike convictions (the most recent of which was in 1992), the lack of any arrests over the preceding 14 years, and his history of complying with court-ordered appearances. Humphrey invited the court to impose an appropriate stay-away order regarding the victim, who lived on a different floor of the senior home in which they both resided. The prosecutor requested bail in the amount of $600,000, as recommended by the bail schedule, as well asa criminal protective order directing Humphrey to stay away from the victim.

Within the decision,

“No person should lose the right to liberty simply because that person can’t afford to post bail. His claim joins a “clear and growing movement” that is reexamining the use of money bail as a means of pretrial detention” (Page 3)

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Jeanne Moon Mar 27, 2021 - 1:54 am

What total bullshit! The California Supreme Court members have gone too far! If you can’t post bail, then you should think twice before committing the crime!

Jg Mar 27, 2021 - 9:32 am

This is just another set back for communities quality of life. By not incarcerating, and not putting up bail sends the wrong message to criminals. All this will do is increase crime and lessen safe streets. What are these politicians thinking? Maybe all they care about is buying votes with dumb decisions like this.

Ipa Mar 27, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Yes, absolutely out of control! Those stinking judges don’t live in the communities where their rulings will cause the most damage! And those rotten low lifes will finish what they started when they go back to the hood.

Acceleration to California 3rd world just enhanced!

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