Georgia's governor signs controversial Republican-backed bill that would require bail for additional crimes

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (D) signed a controversial bill Wednesday that would require cash bail for additional crimes that require cash bail, according to a news release from his office.

Senate Bill 63 (SB 3) adds crimes such as racketeering, sex trafficking and animal cruelty to the list of those requiring cash bail in the Peach State. The bill was supported by five Republicans, including the state Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Randy Robertson (R).

“This bill makes important bail reforms that will ensure that dangerous individuals are not able to walk on our streets and commit additional crimes,” Kemp said at a bill signing ceremony Wednesday, according to his office.

The Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) strongly criticized the bill's signing in a statement Wednesday, saying SB 63 was “cruel, costly and counterproductive.”

“Research shows that incarcerating people only increases crime and costs to taxpayers, and yet Georgia incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other state in the country,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday.

“SB 63 doubles down on this position and forces even more people to languish in prison because they are poor or mentally ill,” the statement continued. “We are very disappointed that Governor Kemp has sacrificed the well-being of Georgia for political gain. The ACLU of Georgia will challenge SB 63 in court to prevent it from taking effect.”

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