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Black man spent 16 months in jail because he couldn’t afford bail — even after he beat the charges

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In February 2017, Virgil Lee Adams was arrested and charged with robbery and assault. In August, he was found not guilty, the Portland Mercury in Oregon reports.

Yet, he spent 16 months in jail on unrelated charges—even though he hadn’t been found guilty of those crime, either.

While behind bars Adams missed the birth of his child, but the community rallied around to get him out in time for Father’s Day, thanks to donations to Portland Bail Out, which paid his $10,000 bail, the Mercury reports.

“This case highlights the injustices of the cash bail system, a system that preys on people of color and the poor,” said Gina Spencer of Portland Bail Out.

The Bail Project describes the toll America’s cash bail system takes on prisoners.

“On any given night in America, 450,000 people are in local jails without being convicted of a crime — the vast majority of whom are there solely due to financial hardship,” they write. ” That’s about the total number of people who live in Miami.”

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As is true of all segments of America’s criminal justice system, poor people of color are the ones who suffer the brunt of the problem.

“These people are disproportionately of color, and for them, there are only two choices: Plead guilty to their charge, or sit in jail until backlogged court systems can hear their case — which can often take weeks or months. This isn’t how bail is supposed to work,” they write.

The U.S. bail system is supposed to serve as incentive to ensure the accused makes their court appearance.

“It wasn’t intended to keep people in jail who couldn’t afford to pay,” the Bail Project explains.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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