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Statement by Nexus President Mike Donovan on the passage of Senate Bill 10 in California

from Nexus Services Inc.

When the path forward is not clear, responsible people take stock of where they are and what they intend to accomplish, before taking steps not easily undone. Unfortunately, the California assembly today acted irresponsibly.

When it comes to bail reform, the passage of SB10 in California was the wrong move. Many legislators commented that they were voting yes to “do something”, while acknowledging that the bill was a disaster. These legislators demonstrated foolishness in the face of an important decision, and they abdicated their responsibility to their constituents.

Make no mistake. While commercial bail agents and their sureties lost yesterday, the real losers are scores of poor and minority Californians who got one step closer to losing their basic constitutional right to freedom from excessive bail. After all, there can be no more excessive bail than no bail at all.

Serve by Nexus has secured bail from licensed sureties for California residents in the past, as part of our charitable bond program (the nation’s largest such program). Our ability to provide critical charitable services like this would be ended if this bill is signed into law.

And remember, the real tragedy of this bill isn’t the elimination of bail, though that certainly is unwise. The real tragedy will be the thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of young black and hispanic men and women who will find themselves subject to “preventative detention” for months at a time. The irreparable harm that will result from those people pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit, just to get out of jail, is unconscionable. We simply can’t let California turn into New Jersey on steroids. We must fight back to protect basic liberty. If we don’t fight against the erosion today, it will be too late.

Nexus Services Inc. and Serve by Nexus will be announcing a litigation plan to address SB10. We will work with various stakeholders to support common sense criminal justice reform, and we will marshal the necessary resources to fight this trampling of the 8th amendment rights of our California brothers and sisters.

In solidarity,

Mike Donovan
Nexus Services Inc. more

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