Georgia governor signs controversial Republican-backed bill requiring cash bail for more offenses

KempBrian 072922 AP Megan Varner

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (D) signed a controversial bill requiring cash bail for more offenses that require cash bail Wednesday, according to a press release from his office.

Senate Bill 63 (SB 3) adds offenses including racketeering, sex trafficking and animal cruelty to the list of those that require cash bail in the Peach State. The bill was sponsored by five Republicans, including the state’s Senate Majority Whip, Sen. Randy Robertson (R).

“This bill carries out important bail reforms that will ensure dangerous individuals cannot walk our streets and commit further crimes,” Kemp said in a bill signing ceremony Wednesday, according to his office.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter of Georgia heavily criticized the bill being signed in a statement Wednesday, stating that SB 63 is “cruel, costly, and counterproductive.”

“Research shows that sweeping people into incarceration only increases crime and taxpayer costs, and yet Georgia locks up a higher percentage of its people than any other state in the country,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday. 

“SB 63 doubles down on that position, forcing even more people to languish in jail because they are poor or mentally ill,” the statement continues. “We are very disappointed that Gov. Kemp has sacrificed the good of Georgia for political gain. The ACLU of Georgia will challenge SB 63 in the courts to stop it from going into effect.”

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