Critics of bail reforms in New York continue to ignore two basic facts about our criminal justice system: First, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. And second, the purpose of bail is to ensure a person shows up for court – not to summarily deprive them of their liberty before trial.
These are not quaint aspirations. These are essential characteristics of any justice system worth its salt. Without them, we would live in a society where government officials could imprison people on a whim, without bothering to prove their case. These protections are integral to the concepts of public order and the rule of law.