After a recent bond posted of just $150,000 for an alleged cop killer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that it is unacceptable and come next session; he will propose a new law that will state no bail for cop killers.
On Dec 13, Abbott took to his Twitter account to express his thoughts and outrage to what had recently happened in the Texas courts. With backlash and controversy surrounding the $150,000 bond set initially for 21-year-old Tavores Henderson in the death of Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, the Gov, is hoping to change the laws so that it would not ever happen again.
“The law already allows for people who are charged with capital murder to be held without bond,” said Mary Mergler, criminal justice project director at Texas Appleseed. “The law allows for people who are accused of a felony while they’re out on bond with another felony to be held without bond, and there are several other circumstances where someone might be held without bond.”
Gov. Abbott said the bail reform he supported during the last session would’ve prevented the recent uproar from happening.
Henderson’s bond was overturned eventually, and the charge set initially was upgraded to capital murder.
During the 86th Legislature, lawmakers in the Texas House passed House Bill 2020. It was one of the several bail reform bills filed and would’ve required the creation of a bail advisory commission with members from the criminal justice system. Magistrates would’ve needed to use a pretrial risk assessment tool and review a defendant’s criminal history before setting a bail amount.
Even though HB2020 never made it out of the Texas Senate, the Gov said he is determined to work with legislators over the next year to ensure that the proposal is better presented when they next meet in 2021.