Man spends 5 months in jail because no one told him his bail was only $2

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Many people have heard the horror stories of Rikers Island Prison. As one of the country’s most infamous prisons, it has a long proven history of gang violence and corruption there.

From November 2014 to April 2015, 41-year-old Aitabdel Salem, a native of Algeria, sat in a jail cell all because no one took the time to let him know that his bail was only set at $2.

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When he was first arrested, he faced more serious charges; he had allegedly attacked a cop who was arresting him for the theft of a coat. But when prosecutors couldn’t get these charges to stick, his charges were lessened and his bail lowered, only no one bothered to tell him that fact. He could have walked out of the jail at any time during those 5 months.

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The two charges that he remained in jail for were minor, so minor in fact that the judge only marked his bail as being $1 for each. They were for tampering with a subway card machine in 2014. Salem has since gotten new attorneys, and they claim that the error was the fault of his previous lawyer.

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Salem “was shocked and dismayed and frustrated that his case was unconscionably mishandled and there was no communication by his attorney telling him his bail was $2 which he could have made at any moment,” stated his new attorney Glenn Hardy.