BAIL HISTORY » Why Bail is Allowed
Why Bail is Allowed
The concept of bail dates back to the origination of English law. Sheriffs knew that long periods of time could pass from the arrest to the trial date or preliminary hearing. These sheriffs managed the jail and were frequently the bail officers. At that time, jails were easy to escape from; and keeping someone in prison was costly and problematic. By law, a sheriff whose prisoner escaped was hung for the offense. In addition, the jail environment was unsanitary and prisoners could die before trial.

Bail bonds posted by friends and family, who took responsibility for the accuser’s court appearance then became the prison release of choice. The thought behind this idea consists of the belief that the family will keep track of the accused instead of forfeiting their property. Due to strong family ties, it was assumed that the accused would appear for trial to protect the interest used for his bail. In addition, bail prevented the punishment of imprisonment until the accused was found guilty of the crime. These ideas later became part of the U.S. legal system and are protect in the right to due process in the event of a criminal offense.