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The monetary amount or condition of pretrial release; a bond (guarantee) or other security provided to the court by a person who agrees to be responsible for a defendant to appear at each stage of the trial. The amount of bail is set by the judge at the initial appear ance; the full amount or a percentage of the bond may be required, in cash or other type of security (e.g., property). A bail bondsman may post bail in exchange for a fee in all but four states—Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The bail bond system is widely criticized as discriminatory against poor and middle-class defen dants. This commercial or profit-making aspect is unique to the United States.

Approximately two thirds of all defendants are granted ...

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