Overcrowding is a perennial problem in the Harris County jail, which was singled out in a 2009 investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice because of persistent in-custody deaths, beatings, reports of abuse and overcrowding fed in-part by the strict pretrial detention practices. Compared to other urban counties, judges release very few misdemeanor inmates on so-called personal bonds because of hardships or an inability to pay even when the county's pretrial services personnel find defendants to be "low risk."
Every judge is influenced by their personal history. They have their own experiences, both good and bad, and those things influence the way that they decide cases. Judges are very highly paid. They do not understand what it is like to be poor. They are out of touch. They cannot ever really set their biases aside and do their work.
No one person can be truly unbiased, and judges are no exception. Human nature is to form an opinion and it is extremely difficult to change that opinion even when faced with facts. Judges are in an especially difficult position to decide sentencing without prejudice. While judges may recuse themselves from a case due to bias, they are not often the best judge of their own unbiased character.
Judges are not unbiased. To think otherwise is to simply disregard human nature. Judges can claim all they want that they don't bring a bias to the bench. They are no more unbiased than a jury that claims to be unbiased. Unfortunately, we must deal with the human condition, even in matters of "equal justice."