No Money to Make Bail or Pay for a Lawyer? Too Bad, Say Officials
Those with money to walk free while they await trial, while those who can’t make bail remain locked up. It also fails to provide people who can’t afford to pay for a lawyer with a public defender to argue for their release.
Both practices are illegal. The constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process prohibit people from being jailed simply because they cannot afford a monetary payment. The Sixth Amendment guarantees people accused of crimes will be appointed lawyers to defend them if they cannot afford to hire a private lawyer.