Commercial bail, the inequitable taxing of the poor in Louisiana

Charles Thomas Kelly

Abstract

This dissertation examines commercial bail bond in the state of Louisiana, and more particularly its most controversial feature, user fees and regressive taxation. The examination begins with a discussion of contemporary law and practice in Louisiana. It then proceeds to a brief history of the practice of bail and its fiscal parameters in Anglo-American law, to a discussion of contemporary bail practices in selected common-law nations and American states, and, then to an analysis of both the fiscal and legal issues arising from the contemporary administration of commercial bail in Louisiana. Finally, the inquiry delves into the states that incorporate user fees and additional taxes on bail in a similar fashion to Louisiana. The author offers inductive conclusions, hoping to assist state actors in their continuing effort to reform bail practice.