The Herald-Tribune uses a computer analysis to reveal "laws on pretrial release are ripe for abuse." A defendant awaiting trial can be "Released on Recognizance" (ROR) under Florida law -- allowed to remain free without having to post any type of bond. But an analysis of 2,430 people granted ROR in Sarasota County over a period of one year found nearly 200 people were released without bail "were arrested on new charges and given ROR again," that hundreds were granted ROR despite "a history of serious crimes or of failing to appear for trial," and that "some judges routinely bend the rules when it comes to releasing longtime or violent crooks." The investigation also revealed that "blacks stand a much worse chance of being granted ROR because the conditions are skewed in favor of middle-class whites."
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