Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals Says Basically No To Court Ordered "Bail" Reform

In Dawes v. Dallas County, a related case to the O'Donnell and Russell Harris County bail bond cases, the Fifth Circuit laid out the rules for Texas in pretrial bail. The court in essence rejects the position taken by the Democratic Harris County Commissioners Hidalgo, Garcia and Ellis, and affirms the position of DA Kim Ogg and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The decision found as follows per Ken Good, attorney at law at

  • "Bail schedules are constitutional and provide for the speedy and convenient release of those who have no difficulty in meeting its requirements."
  • "Without procedures in place to give the poor an opportunity to ask for a deviation from the scheduled bail amount, federal courts will apply intermediate scrutiny. In Odell I, there was essentially no opportunity for the poor to ask for a deviation from the bail schedule which is handled by our present system.
  • "With procedural protections in place, appellate review reverts to a rational basis review. This is the lowest review applied by the courts and under this review, procedures will most likely be upheld.
  • "Contrary to the arguments of plaintiffs for the past four years, the federal constitution does not require release, but instead requires a robust hearing process."

This should spell the end of the felony bond jail break being attempted in the Russell case pending in the United States District Court in Houston.

Questions do remain, does Harris County get back the millions in attorney fees paid to the now losing side in O'Donnell?

That money was used to fuel similar lawsuits in Dallas County (Daves) and others. If not, the Harris County Democrat Commissioners are subsidizing attacks on the foundation of our criminal justice system. Another reason to replace them in November.

Rachel Palmer's insight is also worth reading:


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