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Cash bail eliminated by Assembly bill

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The New York State Assembly has voted to eliminate the requirement for cash bail in most criminal cases.

The Democrat-controlled chamber endorsed the measure Tuesday. It now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to face significant opposition in the Republican-led body.

The bill would prohibit cash bail except in violent felony cases. Instead, defendants could be subjected to community supervision, travel restrictions or electronic monitoring. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed similar legislation.

Supporters say requiring monetary bail is inherently unfair since it allows suspects with financial resources to go free while those without must wait in jail until their trials begin.

Opponents in the Assembly said eliminating cash bail would send the wrong message about crime and potentially put victims of crimes such as domestic violence at risk.

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