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Declare Victory and Go Home

The Fifth Circuit has ruled on the Harris County misdemeanor judges’ 5-million-dollar appeal of Judge Rosenthal’s injunction requiring them to stop using bail as an instrument of oppression by denying personal bonds to indigent people.

The Fifth Circuit vacated the injunction, requiring two changes:

  1. To give the courts 48, rather than 24 hours to make an individual bail assessment; and

  2. Not to require factfinders to make a written statement of the reasons for their bail decisions.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”17-20333_ODonnell v. Harris County”]

It’s time for the fourteen criminal court at law judges to declare victory and go home. ((Just between you and me, this opinion is a rout for the judges. The changes are small, and the current injunction remains in place until Judge Rosenthal modifies it.))

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