Gov. Abbott announces Texas bail reforms

Gov. Greg Abbott_643553

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced a proposal to reform the bail system in Texas on Tuesday.

The changes are meant to “protect law enforcement and enhance public safety,” according to a release, and are in honor of Texas State Trooper Damon Allen, who was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on Thanksgiving last year. Allen’s widow spoke Tuesday and said the suspect should never have been on the road that day. She has pushed for reforms since Allen died.

Abbott announced the Damon Allen Act, which says the bail amount should be set based on the threat accused criminals may pose, including taking into account a person’s previous history. Judges will have to consider threats to law enforcement officers, in addition to threats to victims or the community, when setting bail.

The act also says bail for felony offenses and serious misdemeanors dealing with assault and sexual offenses will only be set by district judges.

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