Keynote Speaker Jeff Adachi Discusses Bail Reform

Jeff Adachi (right) poses next to Phil Telfeyan (left) and Vanguard Director David Greenwald (center)
Jeff Adachi (right) poses next to Phil Telfeyan (left) and Vanguard Director David Greenwald (center)

Saturday night marked a successful Vanguard Court Watch event with San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi as the keynote speaker.  Phil Telfeyan discussed the lawsuit against bail reform filed by his group, Equal Justice Under the Law, in federal court which challenges the monied bail system.  A panel discussion also featured the ACLU’s Mica Doctoroff and Jessica Bartholow from the Western Center on Law & Poverty.

In his talk, Phil Telfeyan discussed the plight of his client – a woman with no criminal record and responsible for the care of her 80-year-old grandmother.  Because of the bail put on her, she would have had to come up with $15,000 in bail.  She needed immediate release from custody, Mr. Telfeyan explained, and the bail bonds people allowed her to come up with just $1500 but she would have to pay back the full $15,000 bail at the highest rate of interest allowed under the law.

Amazingly, the case against her was exceedingly weak and the San Francisco District Attorney’s office dropped the charges – but that did not end her bail obligations to pay back the debt.  Now she and her family are having to pay $200 a month for years.

The Vanguard audience, thanks to Sunny Shine’s agreement to match all money raised, raised $436 for this woman and Ms. Shine matched that to raise the donation to $872, which can allow her to not have to make payments for four months.

This troubling case raises the need for bail reform.

Here are the remarks of Jeff Adachi:


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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3 thoughts on “Keynote Speaker Jeff Adachi Discusses Bail Reform”

  1. Davis Progressive

    adachi makes a critical point: “we make that change happen without the federal government.”  i think that’s a point lost.  now the problem of course is that you end up going to places like louisiana and the deep south and you have people facing life or death without adequate legal counsel – i don’t know how to fix that in the current system and it won’t get fixed under the new administration

  2. Scheney

    This is an important issue locally.  I had a student who was arrested while celebrating his birthday at a downtown bar with friends.  There was a fight in the bar that he was not involved in, but the police arrested him, though he repeatedly declared his innocence, had witnesses on site, etc.  He was charged with felony assault, arraigned and bail set, though he repeated that he wasn’t involved in the fight, was going to school and working and had a family that he was supporting.  He did not have any money, except for his rent money for himself, his girlfriend and their two infant twin daughters.  After a week of sitting in jail, out of desperation, he used the money to post bail.  At the preliminary hearing a couple of months later and after the arresting officer testified, the judge found him factually innocent and the charges were dropped and his arrest record expunged.  However, he lost his bail/rent money.  His arrest was covered by the Davis Enterprise, so when his name is Googled, this would now appear.   It changed his whole view of Davis.  Davis was no longer a safe place for him and his family to be

  3. Jerry Waszczuk


    Apparently he had no money  for lawyer to sue the City of Davis for false arrest and false accusations . The City of Davis should pay him all damages without lawsuit after judge found him innocent and after the charges against him were dropped . Sickening. It is not the only a bail’s matter.

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