On this episode of The Bail Post, we discuss two different counties approaches to federal bail litigation. In both counties, the federal courts entered preliminary injunctions to fundamentally change local bail procedures. In Schultz v. Alabama, the county appealed, refused to settle and fought the litigation every step of the way. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the preliminary injunction and returned control of bail back to the county. In contrast, in O'Donnell v. Harris County, the county appealed and won only to have the trial court enter a new preliminary injunction. It was appealed as well and the 5th Circuit stayed the 2nd preliminary injunction stating that there was a substantial likelihood that the judges would win again. However, the case did not go forward because there was an election and new judges were elected who promised to resolve the litigation. A settlement was entered that tied the hands of the judges going forward.
On this episode, we hear the tale of two counties: one that stood up to the plaintiffs' attorneys and won and another county that gave up and is still suffering the consequences to this day.
The Guest is Matt Gentry who is the Sheriff of Cullman County, Alabama. Sheriff Gentry was born and raised in Cullman County. He attended school there. After a stint in the Marines he returned home and went to work for the sheriff's department where he worked his way up to be the elected sheriff.