This article analyzes the 1980 Bail Act in Scotland, which abolished the use of money bail, and relates it to some instances in the American bail reform literature. The following areas are explored: What equity problems did Scotland encounter, with her traditional money-over-the-counter bail system, that led to the passage of the 1980 act? How do the 1980 act and the court decisions interpreting it balance the needs of protecting defendants' rights and protecting the safety of the community? What are the implications of attempting such a balance act in a system that does not use money bail? The article uses the Scottish experience to suggest limitations on the role that deposit bonds can have in fostering equity in American bail and to explore the problem of increasing bail equity while maintaining flexibility.
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