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There's a push for bail reform in the current Texas Legislature

Stephen Broderick's criminal history – and his release from jail last summer – have raised questions about how the bail system works in Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas — Sunday's deadly shooting has raised questions about Stephen Broderick's criminal history, how he came to be released from jail pending a violent crime charge and why a judge removed a GPS monitor several months after he was freed. It's also sparking a larger conversation about how the bail system works in Texas.

There is a push in the current Texas Legislature to reform the state's bail system. In fact, Gov. Greg Abbott made fixing the "flawed bail system" an emergency item for lawmakers this session.

Last week, the Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 21, which aims to keep more people accused of or previously convicted of violent crimes in jail before trial unless they can post cash bonds.  

The Texas Tribune reported that Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Huffman) said the bill is meant to "address the appalling uptick in violent crimes by defendants out on multiple personal bonds," which don't require cash up front. But those who are against the bill say it fails to address situations where people who are not a danger to the public are kept in jail because they can't post cash bail.

"What, instead of, SB 21 is going to do is capture a lot of people who are not threats to public safety, who would not present a clear and credible evidence, clear and convincing evidence that there is a danger to the community," said Franklin Cruz with The Bail Project, a group that aims to combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.

The Senate passed SB 21 on a vote of 23-8. It has now moved to the House for consideration.

WATCH: Stephen Broderick's arrest and protective order history


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