Supporters of a proposed legal settlement that would ensure most Houston-area misdemeanor defendants are quickly released and don’t languish behind bars because they can’t afford bail say opponents are relying on “scare stories” about dangerous criminals to scuttle the settlement.
Law enforcement officials say the proposed agreement doesn’t do enough to ensure the safety of the public and crime victims.
The fate of the settlement was the focus of a three-hour hearing in Houston federal court Monday.
The settlement stems from a 2016 lawsuit that alleged poor people and minorities arrested in Harris County on misdemeanors stayed locked up due to poverty.
U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal was expected to make a ruling at a later date on whether to grant final approval to the agreement.