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Bounty Hunters

History

The history of the bail process dates back to English common law. People who were charged with crimes against the king were allowed to go free if someone else guaranteed that the individual would return. If that did not happen, the person who guaranteed the return of the individual often had to pay the price instead. In America, this process continued but gave birth to the modern bail bondsman and bounty hunter, who worked together to ensure that accused people appeared for hearings, trials, and sentences. Specifically, bounty hunting grew as a profession during the westward expansion of the United States. Because fugitives would often run as far west as possible to get away from local law enforcement, bounty hunters were often found tracking lawbreakers in the Old West. Though in many states fugitive-recovery activities have come to be performed by marshals, sheriffs, and detectives, the bail-bond system ensures that bounty hunters still flourish in our country.