DA: Over 70% of offenders released on $0 bail in one California county were re-arrested
Out of 595 people who were released on $0 bail from April 2020 through June 2021, 420 were re-arrested, with 123 of them arrested for violent crimes
By Andrew Sheeler
The Sacramento Bee
YOLO COUNTY, Calif. - People released from jail under Yolo County’s “$0 bail” policy went on to be re-arrested 70% of the time, according to a new report released by the District Attorney’s Office.
In April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Judicial Council took the step of imposing a statewide emergency bail schedule, ending the requirement of cash bail for low-level offenders in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus among inmates.
The order set bail at $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felony charges. The emergency order was lifted in June 2020, though individual counties were permitted to make their own decisions on whether to keep $0 bail in place.
Yolo County opted to keep the measure in place until June 2021.
As a result, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig’s office conducted an analysis of those re-arrests while the policy was in place.
Out of 595 people who were released on $0 bail during that period, 420 were re-arrested, with 123 of them arrested for violent crimes, with charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to kidnapping, robbery, carjacking and domestic violence.
That included Marcus Trull, a 22-year-old who was arrested in connection with a shooting that left two dead in Old Sacramento in July 2021. He was released from jail in Yolo County but failed to appear to face felony charges of possessing a loaded gun and possessing a concealed gun in connection with an April 2020 case. Trull also failed to appear in Sacramento Superior Court for two charges in an October 2020 DUI case.
Trull remains in custody in the Sacramento County Main Jail as he awaits a plea hearing Sept. 20 in the Old Sacramento case with co-defendant Cedric Salcedo, according to court records.
“When over 70% of the people released under mandated $0 bail policies go on to commit additional crimes, including violent offenses such as robbery and murder, there is simply no rational public safety-related basis to continue such a practice post-pandemic, especially in light of the increasing violent crime rates across California,” Reisig said in a statement.
The study comes nearly a year after a bill requiring judges to consider a defendant’s ability to pay when setting cash bail was shelved in the aftermath of the slaying of Land Park resident Mary Kate Tibbitts. The defendant in that case, Troy Davis, had been out of jail on his own recognizance for an auto theft charge, and had failed to appear in court for a subsequent hearing.