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Cincinnati Police Union leader pushing for higher bonds

Cincinnati courthouse
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 20:19:25-05

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Police Union leader Dan Hils said Tuesday he and other law enforcement, including homicide detectives, feel that bail amounts set in the Cincinnati area are too low.

Bail reform has been a discussion in Ohio and Hamilton County before, but groups usually argue that bonds are too high and unfairly punish the poor. Hils said he's concerned that bonds are disproportionate to the crimes committed, and pose a threat to community safety.

"Very disheartening and very dangerous to the community," said Hils. "That's the biggest worry."

Attorney Clyde Bennett disagrees; he recently fought last month to lower the bond for a woman accused of murdering her father to steal his house. He argued that bonds are set by the law, and those laws should be followed.

"If you do things to appease society or you set different bonds at a uniform fashion and you're not consistent, or you take into consideration how high profile the case is or unnecessarily take into consideration who or what the victim is, then you're not following the law," said Bennett.

The law gives judges multiple factors to consider when setting bonds, like prior crimes committed and the evidence gathered against them.

There are no bills currently addressing bail reform in the Ohio legislature.