ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY,
a myth is something imagined, fictitious or not
based on facts or scientific study.
The Easter Bunny is a myth. Santa Claus is a
myth. Leprechauns are myths. And, some beliefs
about 10% deposit bail are myths. Let us review a
few of them.
Deposit bail is an appropriate method of
release pending trial.
This is mythical because it is not based on fact.
Deposit bail is totally inappropriate as a form of
pretrial release. How do we know this? Because
the qualification that any pretrial release method
must meet to be appropriate has been consistently
defined for us by the courts, which say that the sole
purpose of bail is to ensure the appearance of the
If the sole purpose of bail is to ensure the
appearance of the defendant, then any release
method which does not accomplish this is
inappropriate. Clearly, deposit bail fails this test,
because a disproportionately high percentage of
people released this way never come back to court.
Therefore, to say that deposit bail is an appropriate
pretrial release method puts it right there with the
Easter bunny – it’s just not real.