U.S. Justice Dept says pre-trial bail practices violate civil rights

August 19, 2016 12:03 PM EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department filed an amicus brief in a federal circuit court on Friday that said mandating inmates pay bail to be released before a trial violates civil rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The filing in the 11th Circuit marks the first time the Justice Department has told a federal court that mandating bail for release discriminates against people who cannot afford the fee.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards)

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