Governor Greg Abbott proposes bail reform in Texas

WACO, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott is doing his part to reform the bail system in Texas. On Tuesday, he announced his proposed “Damon Allen Act,” which would set bond amount that, in short, better match the threat an accused criminal possesses.

If passed, judges would be able to, for example, review the complete criminal history of the person in question.

The changes are in honor of State Trooper Damon Allen who was shot and killed on Thanksgiving in 2017 during a traffic stop near Fairfield, TX. During the stop, the suspect in that case, Dabrett Black, was already out on a $15,500 bail for allegedly assaulting a Smith County deputy.

More recently, the situation surrounding the suspected drunk driver that killed Senior Corporal Jamie Givens of the Dallas Police Department drew the ire of the Dallas Police Association.

The suspect, Adrian Breedlove, got out on bail after he paid 10% of his bond, which was set at $76,000.

“$7,600 dollars is very hard to swallow for officers for their life that a tragedy like this is worth that,” said Mike Mata with the DPA.

It’s not clear if Abbott’s proposal would have changed Breedlove’s bond amount, but when we talked to the DPA about the subject as a whole, they seemed open to change.

“I think that a lot needs to be looked at this and the fairness of it, and what the county and the court is actually trying to achieve,” said Mata.

At the very least, Gov. Abbott is opening bail reform up for discussion. Whether the discussion moves on, however, still needs to play out.