THE LITTLE FACTS WHICH YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW ABOUT BAIL BONDS.
Hello there, fellas! I’m trusting you have not gotten yourself into trouble the last week. Anyways, we are still on the business of bail bonds and we want to take a dive into those little facts a fellow is supposed to know about bail bonds. So tighten your seat-belts, you will absolutely love some of them! today, we talk about history.
Bail bonds: how did it even start?
When we talk about the history of bail bonds, our journey usually starts in 13th century Europe. But it is possible that the history of bail bonds could even be as old as man. Alright, let me rephrase, maybe as old as there has been crime and judges to judge them. It has not been long since history started getting written, but archaeological discoveries of clay tablets from circa 2750 BC clearly describes surety agreements made in the Akkadian city of Eshnunna, which we know as Iraq these days (Morgan, 1927). The library of Sargon I, king of Accad and Sumer describes an agreement made by a farmer who was drafted into the military and another farmer. The military farmer had given the second farmer the permission to cultivate his farm in his absence. This farmer will fertilize the farm and keep it in a good condition as it was lent to him. In return for cultivating this farm, the second farmer will give half of his produce to the military farmer. A merchant was asked to act as surety, so as to make sure the second farmer fulfils his part of the bargain.
We have used the above example to show that there have always been people acting as sureties to back things up. The merchant mentioned would probably receive a part of the proceeds or some other form of payment for his troubles. We could extrapolate from this incomplete data to show that the same would apply for people awaiting trial for some form of crime. Thus, establishing the presence of bail and automatically, a bondsman.
History is also rife with stories from ancient civilizations where criminals were allowed to pay their way out of punishment. But this though is not bail in its true sense is it?
Let us get back to history that can be backed up. The earliest true example of bail goes back to the 13th century. Sheriffs had the authority to determine what to do with a criminal. As human nature is, we can easily infer that these sheriffs allowed potential criminals to pay their way to freedom. This would eventually evolve into a formal system and by the year 1275, some crimes could receive bail and others couldn’t.
The Habeas Corpus act in Great Britain formalized bail. It would no longer be set by law enforcement but by magistrates. The passage of the English Bill of Rights in 1689 would also limit excessive bail.
These reformations would go on to influence the American colonies and the right to bail entered the Virginia Constitution and later the 8th Amendment of the US constitution.
The bail system as it is now, came into existence in 1984, born by the Bail Reform act of 1984. The law allowed the court to deny bail to those who could be a danger to the society. It also created more categories of people who would not be eligible for bail; potential flight risks or repeat offenders. Lastly, it introduced bail hearing, showing its necessity for individuals who might be eligible for bail. You could click here for more details
So fellas, this is the history in brief, the story of how bail bonding has come along through the winding paths of history. As long as there are crimes and courts to judge them, there would always be a need for bail and invariably, a need for a bondsman.
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