Kvetch ‘N Kvell: Archbishop Message, Cash Bail a Folly


Archbishop Sends Chanukah Greetings
Dear brothers and sisters in the Jewish faith community, together with the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I extend sincere and prayerful best wishes as you celebrate the great Festival of Lights.

As you recall the ultimate triumph of G-d over oppression in all of its forms, may the light of the menorah fill you with joy and hope as you strengthen the bonds of love with family and friends.

Shalom Aleichem!

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez | Archbishop of Philadelphia

Recent Incident Shows Flaws of Cash Bail
If Bob Lankin’s Nov. 11 op-ed “Why Judaism Prohibits Cash Bail’’ had been scheduled for a December publication date, I highly doubt the Exponent would ever have published it.

Darrell Brooks, who is accused of running his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 21, murdering six innocent people and seriously injuring dozens, had a long criminal history and was released from prison twice by posting bail amounts of: 1) $500 in February after being charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and possession of a dangerous weapon as a convicted felon; and 2) $1,000 last month after being charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, bail jumping, recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and battery.

The murderous assault in Waukesha was the direct result of releasing a repeat violent offender prior to trial because of low or no bail.

Lankin makes the case that many who are charged with a crime and presumed innocent prior to trial remain incarcerated for being poor since they do not have the funds to post bail. Certain people charged with crimes should be given no or low bail amounts if they are first-time offenders, if the nature of the crime they were charged with was nonviolent or other similar circumstances. But Lankin puts forward a misleading argument when he conflates cash bail with the Jewish principle not to persecute and oppress poor people.
It is inappropriate to conclude that Judaism has an absolute ruling about cash bail.

Joel Leon | Huntingdon Valley


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