Police, residents upset by signature bonds granted to violent suspects

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A man charged with aggravated assault in which he's accused of attempting to strangle an individual got out of jail on a signature bond.

That is one of many court cases in Fulton County cited by citizens who are complaining the judicial system does not protect them.

A review of court defendants for the first half of this year found more than 3,000 releases. And there are countless cases in which violence is alleged.

Atlanta resident Amber Connor, who monitors police and the courts, says citizens would be surprised to learn that three dozen robbery defendants were granted bond.

"There's a lot of finger-pointing about who is to blame," Connor says, "all we want if for it to be fixed."

Judge Cassandra Kirk says there are multiple reasons why a defendant -- even those accused of violent crimes -- may be given a bond.

For example, Kirk says, if a defendant sits a long time and his or her case has not been indicted, the defendant is entitled to a bond.

In other cases, Kirk says, a judge can decide to allow a bond if the officer on the case fails to show for a hearing.