Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Angie Bergman participated in a virtual roundtable discussion about bail reform issues in Tennessee. Angie joined Rahim Buford – Manager, Nashville Community Bail Fund; John Ray Clemmons – Tennessee State Representative, District 55; and Josh Spickler – Executive Director, Just City to talk about the bail process in Tennessee and the need for reform in the system. When individuals are detained pretrial, it can have serious long-term impacts including reduced job security, exacerbated mental health issues, the loss of custody of children, and loss of housing. With proper bail reform, these negative impacts could be mitigated, preserving the presumption of innocence, saving the individual from undue hardship and saving taxpayers and states thousands of dollars each year.
Angie explained “One of the things that case law has said is that you can’t detain someone just because they don’t have money. You can’t take away their bodily liberty only because they can’t pay enough to get out. Yet it continues to happen over and over again. What happens is that (1) judges oftentimes don’t know the law; (2) judges don’t follow the law; and (3) we don’t have sufficient procedural protections to make sure the law is being followed.”
The full video is available below.