The Bail Reform Act, passed in 1978, says bail should be set no higher than necessary - to make sure the defendant shows up in court. (Image: WTVC)
One Criminal Court judge is raising concerns about the state's bond laws and if they really protect the public. Chattanooga Police arrested Taiwan Greathouse a year ago for gun and drug charges. A police report says - he's a validated gang member with a violent criminal record, who was wanted on nine warrants at the time. Bond was set - at $133,000. The Hamilton County Criminal Court confirms - Greathouse paid $5,300 in November when he got out of jail.
According to an article in the Chattanoogan, Judge Barry Steelman said in court Monday, that kind of low bond keeps judges from being able to "protect the public."
District attorney Neal Pinkston can't comment on specific ongoing cases - but says people getting out of jail on low bonds - could be a threat to public safety.
"It depends on the person and the charge, but I would imagine community members would feel threatened," said Neal Pinkston.
The Bail Reform Act enforces a 10 percent maximum for bond payments - and is ...