Last month, the Judicial Council of California  that reduced bail for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies to $0 during the pandemic. The emergency bail schedule was an acknowledgment by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of California that people in jails and prisons have a significantly higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19 — and that individuals accused of many lesser crimes shouldn’t have to risk contracting a potentially fatal disease while they await their court date. 

But since the rule went into effect, prosecutors throughout the state have exploited loopholes in the policy or flat-out refused to comply with it. As a result, thousands of people in California who are eligible for pretrial release under the state’s zero bail order

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