Richmond prosecutors will no longer seek cash bail bonds


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The chief prosecutor in Richmond says he will no longer seek cash bail bonds for criminal defendants awaiting trial.

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring told The Richmond Times-Dispatch the current practice of seeking bail bonds is "unfair" and leaves many defendants unable to afford to get out of jail.

Bail bonds are often set for defendants to try to ensure they will show up for trial.

Herring said he's instructed prosecutors to make an assessment of a defendant's risk to the community. If they don't believe the defendant poses a risk, they can recommend to a judge his release without bond, but with pretrial conditions. Prosecutors can still ask judges to hold defendants they believe pose an unacceptable risk.

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