Bailed out and gunned down

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It just isn’t safe to skip bail anymore, the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports. Ten months after Georgia passed a law reining in overzealous bounty hunters, a North Carolina bail recovery agent entered the state while tracking a 22-year-old man who’d violated his probation on charges of eluding police and driving with a revoked license.

The bounty hunter, 38-year-old Edward Tatum, found his prey in a DeKalb County apartment complex. The fugitive jumped in his car. The bounty hunter shot. The car crashed. The man died. The price on his head — er, the posted bond — was $2,500. Tatum is now facing murder charges.

As private citizens permitted to make arrests, bounty hunters enjoy a certain freedom of action since defendants forfeit some rights when they sign a bondsman’s agreement. According to an accompanying Journal-Constitution feature, one bounty hunter might buy his captive a six pack for the ride to jail; another might toss him in the trunk for the long haul back.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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