Bail reform settlement looks to be a go

Excellent news.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lee H. Rosenthal on Friday offered initial support for new bail rules proposed by Harris County, signaling the three-year lawsuit challenging the county’s cash bond system soon may reach its conclusion.

The settlement of the case, which Harris County has spent more than $9 million defending, would seal victory for the poor misdemeanor defendants who brought the suit and allow Rosenthal and both legal teams to turn their attention to a similar lawsuit challenging the county’s felony bail system.

“We’ve actively been talking to each other,” said Neal Manne, an attorney representing the poor defendants. “I think we’d be ready in a month to come back to the court with a final, permanent order.”

For the first time in a federal court hearing, all the parties in the misdemeanor suit stood in agreement Friday afternoon about how the case should be settled. In an unusual scene in Rosenthal’s 11th-floor courtroom, the attorneys in the once-contentious case urged Rosenthal to sign off on new bail rules proposed by the newly elected slate of Democratic misdemeanor judges.


Rosenthal, who in 2017 agreed Harris County’s bail system was unfair to poor defendants, suggested waiting to see how well the new bail rules work in practice before issuing her approval. With the opening of the new joint processing center for inmates, the judge said minor, unforeseen problems may need to be addressed.

“The devil, in the broader issues, is in the day-to-day,” Rosenthal said. She ordered the parties to return March 8.

Allan Van Fleet, the attorney representing the misdemeanor judges, agreed that the revised bail system will require each part of Harris County’s criminal justice apparatus to cooperate.

“The judges are committed, with the sheriff, the DA, the plaintiffs, that we’re going to work together to get the best system that anybody can come with,” Van Fleet said.

See here for the previous update. We’re headed in the right direction, and we know where we’re going. It’s a new day.

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40 Responses to Bail reform settlement looks to be a go

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    Excellent news….

    Rosenthal has blood on her hands…

    Hero 1.

    While on a $1,000 P.R. bond for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (auto theft) when
    he decided to do this….

    “Slain 15-year-old identified, boyfriend charged after accidental shooting in Spring” I bet her parents wish he would have stayed in Jail

    I don’t seem to be able to post the chronicle link but the story is in the chronicle.

    HERO 2

    Pasadena police chief furious after repeat armed robbery suspect released twice by same judge
    “Mr. Jones terrorized our city by pointing a gun at a store clerk, as well as shot at a witness and his children that followed him from one of the scenes.”

    He was on a P.R. bond for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon (a non-violent) offense when he used a weapon to rob some CVS stores.

    You progressives buckle your seatbelts its going to be a bumpy ride.

  2. Manny says:

    Bogey men or women the favorite way for the Republicans to demonstrate the art of ejaculation. Ten of thousands released but let us find one that did not work and that will be the Bogey Man. It works for the simple in mind Paul, other than one or two that visit here, it won’t work.

    Even when they pay they commit crimes, so the reason is the bail that they pay, using your logic Paul.

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    Hey Manny I am here to just vent. I don’t expect to change anyones mind. If you progressives are good with this then so be it.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    From your own link from an Alabama newspaper:

    “It’s a problem, and the only solution I see is raising the bail amount higher,” Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said earlier this month.

    Bailey, who fought successfully to have the state bail schedule for murder charges increased from $75,000 to $150,000, said the answer is to increase the limit again and increase those for other crimes. Micah West, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said bail should depend on the individual person instead of a blanket range.

  5. Manny says:

    Bill we know your solution is to lock them up and throw away the key until they come to trial and they are acquitted or found guilty.

    Bill, do you think a $100 million bail on El Chapo would have stopped him from continuing his enterprise when he returned to Mexico, or even returning to court.

    Go play with the Trump/Republicans, most of them think like you do. Think? Wonder if they do that, must be executive time?

  6. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    I’m entertained by the notion that Judge Rosenthal is “progressive.”

  7. Paul Kubosh says:


    My comment was meant for the people posting on this website. However, Rosenthal’s position on this is progressive in my opinion. I stand by my comment “blood on her hands”

  8. mollusk says:

    It’s nice to know that after 150 years, the Fourteenth Amendment is still considered “progressive.”

  9. mollusk says:

    …as is of course the Eighth, after only 228 years.

  10. Paul Kubosh says:

    Just like a progressive. You get angry about your position and you insinuate that its about race. Tell it to the dead girls parents, tell it to the clerks who had a gun shoved in their face. Tell them about how racist people are for wanting their daughters killer behind bars. Go to law school and read the opinions.

  11. Ross says:

    So, Paul, are you now going to argue that no one should be out on bail, ever? That’s what you appear to be saying. Or just that rich people should get out on bail? Why do you think poor people should be locked up longer than people with lots of money?

  12. Paul Kubosh says:


    No its not. You know its not. The system you have now has gotten a girl killed and released a guy who was sticking a gun in the face of cvs clerks. You cannot deny that. Ignore it, approve of it, either way facts are facts. Personally, I don’t care if the guy on video that was sticking the gun in the faces of the cvs clerk ever gets out of jail. Remember he was already on bond for unlawfully carrying a weapon (one of your non-violent offenses). Hey if this is the society you want to live in then just own it.

  13. Manny says:

    Paul systems don’t kill people kill, why not blame the gun and the companies that make the guns?

    If he was out on bail and committed the crime while on bail, he will in all probability will not another chance at bail. Right Paul.

    How many people do you thing are out on bond throughout the United States Paul? Millions probably, so we can always find some one that did something wrong to scare the weak.

    It is estimated that as many as half a million people are in jail because they can’t afford the bond.

    Always looking for bogeymen and women.

  14. Paul Kubosh says:


    Why do you make that comment. Facts are facts you just have to own it. Embrace your position. Your hero’s are killing people. Call it what you would like to call it. Being soft on crime is a position you and your like minded folks have embraced don’t be embarrassed by it. Own it.

  15. Manny says:

    Paul I hope you don’t plan to win cases with arguments like that.

    My heroes? I don’t own a bail bonding company that puts murders, drunks, rapists, thieves out on the street. Do you know anyone like that? If you do then that is where you need to point the finger.

  16. C.L. says:

    “Embrace your position. Your heroes are killing people.”

    Seriously ?

  17. Paul Kubosh says:


    “Do you know anyone like that?”

    Yes I do. Its now YOU.

  18. Bill Daniels says:


    Paul is right. Actions have consequences. Angel Families? Those families have dead loved ones because of people like you, who vote for open borders and sanctuary cities. Now you want to let violent people out of jail with no bail, and Paul has already pointed out the consequences of that. A girl is dead. Shopkeepers are traumatized and victimized.

    Congrats! You did it!

  19. Manny says:

    My heroes have always been cowboys.


  20. C.L. says:

    I can’t name a single person who’s ever voted for open borders, or a politician who’s even proposed them.

  21. C.L.

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

  22. Manny says:

    Has as much to do with me and my kind, Paul! So if we support bail reform and bail bondsmen don’t make as much money as a result, we have blood on our hands, really. I think that people that allow criminals to come out by posting bonds and collecting a small percentage are the really the people that are allowing all the criminals out.

    I think attorneys that defend criminals have blood on their hands, a lot of blood. I never did criminal work, have you Paul?

    So criminal attorneys and bail bondsmen are going to straight to hell, right Paul?

    Have a great year, Paul.

  23. Paul Kubosh says:


    You don’t even make sense. You want free bonds but no defense attorney? Just like a progressive only apply apart if the Constitution. It’s your world now congratulations.

  24. C.L. says:

    Paul, Bill’s statement was “Those families have dead loved ones because of people like you, who vote for open borders and sanctuary cities.” Presumably you were referring to Manny who, again presumably, has voted for open borders…. But I don’t remember ‘open borders’ ever being on a ballot, nor do I know of any political candidate who has declared his/her support for open borders in any shape or form. Can you enlighten me as to who you’re referring to ? I’d love to read up on their political platform and policy positions.

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.: Remember Lupe Valdez? Your candidate for governor was an open borders, sanctuary city enthusiast.

    Look at all the Dems who cried about “putting kids in cages” and “muh separating chil’rens.” Those people used that tearjerking to further their goal, the goal of getting illegals into the US. We have to release those poor people, and we can’t just send them across the border. No, they have to stay here. THAT is open borders!

  26. Bill Daniels says:

    How about Nancy? “I think I have been very clear.” “There will be no wall.”

    Translation: There will be no barrier to illegal aliens getting into the US.

    She needs poor, uneducated people who will come here and have anchors who will be born dependent on the government, and grow up to vote as dependent people do.

  27. Manny says:

    Paul, where did I state that I wanted free bonds for everyone.

    I pointed out that even when people pay bonds they still commit crimes, and that was because you made an argument that people that don’t pay bonds commit crimes. Create a bogeyman or bogeywoman.

  28. C.L. says:

    Bill/Paul, you two have really gone of the rails. Valdez wasn’t supported by a number of Latino organizations because as Sherriff, she had cooperated with Federal officials in complying with detention orders of illegals aliens. So…she wanted open borders… so she could apprehend them… and then turn them over to ICE ? What a diabolical plan !

  29. Bill Daniels says:

    “We need to enact comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and stop appeasing Trump’s hate and intolerance with attacks on our DREAMers and end cruel policies that target Texans based on ethnicity and citizenship status….”

    Translation: We need to end cruel policies like trying to deport those who are here illegally. We need to stop targeting illegal aliens.

    I didn’t make this up, this is from Lupe’s website. This is Lupe’s vision for Texas, and for America, a place where illegal aliens are protected from deportation.

  30. Paul Kubosh says:

    Sigh……I got nothing else. Bill I don’t know how you have the energy to argue with these guys.

  31. C.L. says:

    So she doesn’t support open borders ?

    Bill, you interpretation as to what she said is your own; your translation of her stated position didn’t match to what she actually said. That’s what POTUS would call #FakeNews.

  32. Bill Daniels says:


    What cruel policies target Texans based on citizenship status? What’s your interpretation of that? Is asking non citizens not to vote a cruel policy? What are the cruel policies she is referring to?

    Another Lupe article:

    Valdez has been a harsh critic of Governor Abbott’s stance on immigration, especially in regard to his “sanctuary city” legislation. Valdez has refused to follow policy on federal immigration detention requests. The request from ICE was to hold illegal detainees for an extra 48 hours to give ICE time to determine if there are grounds for deportation or detention.
    “Your refusal to fully participate in a federal law enforcement program intended to keep dangerous criminals off the streets leaves the State no choice but to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our fellow Texans,” Abbott wrote in letter to Valdez.
    Valdez seems to be making this her number one issue. Her refusal to fully cooperate with ICE and Abbott when illegal immigrants were detained demonstrates her strong stance on immigration policy.
    The Abbott campaign had a response to Valdez’s announcement, along with the other democratic candidates who passed on their run for governor of Texas.”

    Releasing illegals without giving ICE a chance to collect them is a policy that is directly responsible for the death of Kate Steinle.

  33. Bill Daniels says:

    Here’s one of those ‘sparks of divinity’ we are talking about protecting:

    Trump even mentioned this in the SotU address.

    “Not only did police “sneak” the MS-13 gang member out a back door two hours earlier than what they told reporters, they waited until 4 a.m. Tuesday to announce Gutierrez had been formally charged.

    He had been in custody since Monday for his role in the incident.

    Gutierrez had nine previous arrests, including four felonies, and was out on $2,500 bail for felony conspiracy charges. He shot a rival gang member “multiple times in the face” after a scuffle over a gun, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

    The very epitome of the president’s case on border security.”

  34. Bill is right. Although this thread is supposed to be about Bail. Saw in the Chronicle today that a guys is robbing a lot of stores and the police need help identifying him. This guys is a candidate for their catch and release program.

    Local law enforcement is going to start trying out for the fishing channel. “Catch and release”

  35. Manny says:

    Paul, Paul, Paul, you know that robbing stores with guns are not misdemeanors, so why would he be a candidate? Are bail bondsmen so desperate for money that they have people resorting to spreading misinformation? Paul, Paul, Paul, shame on you.

  36. mollusk says:

    Let’s close the borders with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana while we’re at it. People from each of those states live up to some stereotypes that I don’t want to see in my driveway (***shudder…***).

  37. Steve Houston says:

    Just so we’re clear here, the suggestion that throwing a scripted amount of bail on a defendant accused of a low level misdemeanor magically prevents them from getting into further trouble is beneath those who are using that argument here. There seems no shortage of bail bonding companies willing to get alleged criminals out while they await trial and like it or not, some on bond do commit further crimes. Do the rest of us declare such bonding companies “have blood on their hands”? Not as a rule we don’t.

    The old system was held unconstitutional. That doesn’t mean there won’t be growing pains as a better, lawful system is cobbled together despite the best propaganda efforts of those who profited on the misery of others. It also doesn’t mean that everyone released, either on a PR bond or via a cash bond, are going to behave-human nature is what it is. Plus, supporting sensible changes doesn’t necessarily translate into buying into every facet of the current new plan, those who paint with a broad brush tend to do so because their argument lacks merit.

  38. Pingback: Trying again for bail reform at the Lege – Off the Kuff

  39. Jules says:

    Steve, great comment

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