West Virginia House passes bill clarifying bail practices

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill to change how bail is set for certain misdemeanor cases.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports House Bill 4511, which passed 94-4 Thursday, would require defendants for certain misdemeanor cases to be released on personal recognizance instead of bail. Misdemeanors involving actual violence, a victim that’s a minor or use of a deadly weapon, among other caveats, would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, the bill’s lead sponsor, said during the Thursday vote that the bill attempts to alleviate some of the regional jail system’s financial burden from housing inmates. The state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety says it costs about $48.25 per day to house an inmate in a regional jail.

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