By Alex Pappas Fox News staff | July 10, 2017 07:45:02The idea of a bail fund that pays you a $100,000 bail if you get arrested is a common one in the legal community.
But it’s not quite what you might expect.
Bail fund advocates, such as Philanthropy Alliance of Pennsylvania, say it’s a “crappy idea” that could save thousands of lives every year.
“Bail funds are a simple way to save lives in a crisis, while also providing financial security to families and the communities they serve,” said Philanthropies Alliance of Philadelphia executive director Michael Gerson.
The idea began in 2012, when a Pennsylvania judge issued a $2 million bond for a father accused of killing his 6-year-old son.
It was funded through a $5 million grant from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the family was charged with the boy’s murder.
After the bail money ran out, a judge granted the family a second set of $2,500 bail.
They had to get rid of the gun, and they were given an attorney to represent them.
The judge ordered the family to turn over their guns, and to wear GPS tracking devices that tracked where they went, and how often they went.
It also allowed the family access to a $15,000 personal safety deposit fund.
A year later, the family sued the judge, and an appeals court agreed that the judge had “no jurisdiction to grant bail.”
They appealed, and in 2015, a Pennsylvania appeals court upheld that decision, holding that “the defendant’s conduct in making a bail application was arbitrary and capricious.”
In June 2017, the judge overturned the $2.2 million bail bond.
In that ruling, Judge James Gorman wrote that the family’s right to a hearing and a lawyer was “at a low ebb.”
The judge said the family needed the money, and that there was no guarantee the judge would agree to the $10 million bond.
Gorman wrote, “We believe that the defendant’s bail application is arbitrary and unwise, and we believe that its grant should be blocked.”
The family appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and, in June 2018, a three-judge panel upheld the $1 million bond that the state gave to the family.
The ruling upheld the bail bond as “reasonable and appropriate.”
The $10 billion bail fund, funded by a federal grant, would cover people who get arrested for crimes like murder or rape, drug offenses, traffic violations, or crimes like drug trafficking, domestic violence, or burglary.
The money would be available for $2 billion in the first three years, and then would be indexed to inflation.
That would make the bail fund more expensive each year.
It would also mean that people who would get the money wouldn’t have to pay a percentage of the money raised, as is the case for most bail funds.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is responsible for administering the bail funds, but the state has been spending money on the fund for years.
In recent years, it has been a source of controversy, with critics arguing that it is a bailout for the wealthy and a money-loser for poor people.
Gerson said that the bail system was created by Congress to address “the crisis of the poor,” and that the money should be used for “people in need, not rich people.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme of Appeals agreed with the appeal, and it set a trial date for Sept. 13.
If the justices do not approve the bail for the family, the case will go to the state Supreme Court.