Spinella said he’s found 55 instances where state courts have set bail amounts for minorities that were higher than those set for whites charged in similar crimes. And 140 instances where indigent people charged with substantial crimes were forced to spend months in jail because they were unable to post bond.
Challenging Connecticut’s Bail Bond System
by Christine Stuart
Many of Hartford Attorney A. Paul Spinella’s clients have one thing in common: they were wrongfully imprisoned and held for long periods before the charges against them were dropped.
Spinella has requested class action status for his federal lawsuit, which claims the state’s bail bond system is unconstitutional.
“Nobody even looks at their case until it reaches trial,” Spinella said last week in a telephone interview. He said he looked back three years — as far back as the state’s data goes — and found that more than 500 people each year are held for six months or more before their cases are thrown out.