AP wire

Ruling that Texas bail system unfair to poor mostly upheld

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HOUSTON (AP) — An appeals court has upheld most of a federal judge's ruling that the bail system in Texas' most populous county was unconstitutional for people arrested for lesser offenses.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday agreed with U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal's conclusion that Harris County's bail system violated due process and equal protection measures of the U.S. Constitution.

Last year, Rosenthal ruled the county's policy of detaining indigent misdemeanor defendants before trial violated equal protection rights against wealth-based discrimination.

However, the appeals court ordered Rosenthal to revise a preliminary injunction that ordered the county to release indigent inmates without posting cash bail while they await trial on misdemeanor offenses.

The appeals court said the injunction was overbroad.

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