ACLU calls Galveston Co.'s bail system into question over allegedly discriminatory practices against indigent inmates

By John Suayan | Apr 9, 2018

GALVESTON – A federal class action lawsuit alleges Galveston County implements a bail system that is unfavorable towards individuals who cannot afford to post bail.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas records show that the ACLU filed the suit on Apr. 8 on behalf of Aaron Booth, an inmate at the Galveston County Jail.

According to the nonprofit, the county permits people who can afford a payment to go free while locking those who lack the means, including Booth.

Booth reportedly was not appointed legal counsel nor even asked whether he could afford his bail.

“He will not have an opportunity to explain his inability to pay for days or weeks,” the suit says.

Court papers assert the defendant’s practices in question violate Booth’s due process and constitutional rights, accusing the county of not correcting these practices “despite considerable public pressure.”

The respondent faces similar litigation to that targeting Harris County.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 3:18-CV-0104

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