Bail bonds reform is a movement within certain quarters in the government that aims to change how bail is set for people who are about to go to trial. Unlike the #MeToo movement which is gaining traction around the world, the movement to reform the bail bonds system still needs to get mass support from the public as well as legislators and other concerned parties.
How is bail set in the United States? Before someone goes to trial, the judge will set the bail amount. The figure is actually very random and there is no telling why anyone would have to pay that kind of amount. As it is right now, even petty crimes require a bail bond amount of tens of thousands of dollars.
A drug addict might mug his neighbor for two dollars and a bottle of gin and yet be slapped with a fine of $50,000. With bail bond companies, you could get a $5000 loan, which is equivalent to 10% of the bail amount. For most people, this is basically out of reach and they lose their jobs and their families as they are all there awaiting trial, languishing inside a jail.
Supporters of bail bond reform contend that the current situation only exacerbates the plight of the poor who may have nothing else at the time that they committed their alleged crime. Because they cannot get out of jail before trial, their right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is actually infringed on.
As it is right now, there is no piece of legislation in Congress or the Senate that will move to change the bail bond system. California though is inching towards change, however, there still a long way to go. There are only politicians who are emphatic about the need for reform in the justice system.
Part of the problem is that most legislators are actually friendly with bail bond companies and they stand to lose monetary support if they approve changes. Ideally, a bail should be set according to how dangerous a person is to society and his capacity to pay instead of being random.
Still, we can only hope that change is coming soon. If there are serious offenders, there are those who are victims of mistaken identity. And it would be a tragedy to have lives put on hold just because they are unable to pay the bail.
This January, Greece has voted to curb the influence of the Islamic courts that govern most of the legal transactions in the western region of a 100,000 Muslim minority. Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister announced that this is a step along the way of giving equal rights to all Greeks regardless of their faith.
The lawmakers decided to limit the powers of the Sharia law which were established about a century ago. This aims to give Greek courts more power over all legal issues and cases and was strongly advised by the European Court of Human Rights. After the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, the Turkish speaking Muslim minority remained reluctant to follow the laws set by the Greek Government. The proposal was issued after a Muslim woman made a dispute regarding an inheritance issue in the city of Komotini.
Constantine Gavroglou, The Minister of Education and Religious Affairs stated that this is an important step for the Greek Parliament as it ensures that all issues of people’s rights are addressed with a focus on equality and democracy.
However, there are still oppositions against the bill especially concerning the appointment of the locally-elected Muslim clerics. Although they are not operating officially, nevertheless they are highly influential within the minority community.
There have been a lot of predictions about the fall of the Kim regime in North Korea. However, all of them proved to be false so far. Nevertheless, experts believe that it is destined to happen at some point due to the ever-growing conflict between North Korea on one side and South Korea and the US government on the other.
Although Kim Jong-un doesn’t plan to give up his ruling anytime soon, there are several issues that have to be thought of in case the regime falls. Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, talks about a unified Korea stressing that it is an internal “Korean” issue. He believes that unified Korea should be under the leadership of the economically and politically developed south. Beijing is also concerned about such an event as most of the North Korean subjects will try to go to China, imposing more pressure on the Chinese middle class.
The issue of nuclear weapons is another subject that needs to be tackled. With billions of dollars on the stake, warlords might be able to use them building their own militias. South Korea, China, and the US will all be in a state of alert in order to deal with the chaos that will most likely follow.
The North Korean elites are now considering better alternatives although the threat of their execution by the Kim regime remains to be their biggest fear. The future remains to be uncertain but the collapse scenario is now closer to reality than ever before.
Donald Trump has clearly declared that his strategy is all about making America Great Again. This will include getting more economically competitive with China.
His remarks were not very well accepted by the Chinese side where a Chinese foreign ministry announced that getting back to the old ways of the cold war is currently outdated. Today, the economy is not about the zero-sum gum where the winner takes it all. He argues that unless the US proposes more cooperation and collaboration it will only harm itself.
Trump’s administration started by imposing more trade tariffs, which were soon faced by international opposition especially by commercial rivals like China. Nevertheless, more bills are to be issued especially concerning intellectual property theft. Nowadays the administration is studying further imposition of tariffs concerning the import of aluminum and steel.
Another IP war is coming along the way where Trump claims that it is crucial to protect the US intellectual rights and to give more opportunities to American creativity. One way that Trump administration suggests is to give more powers to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee will be able to reviews all foreign acquisitions, investments, and trading transactions. Nevertheless, a lot of American companies are not extremely happy about the new bill proposal as it might harm their trading transactions with their Chinese partners.
The administration also suggested putting more restrictions on students from certain countries who are currently studying in the US. Those who are studying in the fields of IT, science, engineering or Information technology will be facing more troubles in the future. Trump claims that this is to prevent the theft of American technology.
Trump’s trade policies are only part of this overall policy to make America great but lonely. His proposal to build a wall across the Mexican borders or to prevent immigrants from other countries only shows his idea of how to make the US a financial and economical unstoppable force. However, a significant percentage of the American people agrees with his ideas and thinks that the only way to development is to crush the competition.
Experts believe that such policies and statements only add more potential names to America’s list of enemies. With the overall international situation reaching a boiling point, America would be extremely happy to receive help from allies. For instance, China is currently one of the main allies that the US should depend on in case the North Korean regimen puts any of its threats into action. Such trade policies will not do any side any good in the long run.
I have been working as a political analyst and advisor for the past 10 years with specific focus on international and foreign policies. My clients include several foreign agencies, circulars, and newspapers.