Illinois poised to end cash bail and possibly set alleged criminals free

Illinois poised to end cash bail and possibly set alleged criminals free

While
the
nation’s
attention
was
focused
on
the
transition
of
power
in

Washington,
Illinois
state
lawmakers
last
week
passed
a
massive

criminal
justice
reform
bill
that
would,
among
other
things,
end
cash
bail.

The
bill
came
in
response
to
the

police
killing
of

George
Floyd
and
others
last
year,
which
sparked
a
wave
of

protests
across
the
country
calling
for
criminal
justice
reform.

Should
it
go
into
law,
almost
everyone
in
jail
would
be
released
while
awaiting
trial
unless
prosecutors
could
convince
a
judge
that
the
defendant
is
a
threat
to
public
safety.
In
such
cases,
the
accused
would
remain
in
jail
without
the
opportunity
for
cash
bail.

FILE: Illinois lawmakers are seen on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield Ill. 

FILE:
Illinois
lawmakers
are
seen
on
the
House
floor
during
session
at
the
Illinois
State
Capitol
in
Springfield
Ill. 

(AP)

Cook
County
State’s
Attorney
Kim
Foxx,
who
has
been

accused
of
being
too
soft
on
criminals,
has
praised
the
idea
of
ending
cash
bail.

“Cash
bail
was
never
about
public
safety,”
said
Cook
County
State’s
Attorney
Kim
Foxx.
“For
far
too
many
people,
their
assessment
was
based
not
on
their
risk
but
on
the
amount
that
they
could
afford
to
pay

so
eliminating
cash
bail
makes
this
about
risk
and
not
about
poverty.”

But
others
have
warned
that
ending
cash
bail
would
do
more
harm
than
good.
Ahead
of
the
bill’s
passage,
the
Illinois
State’s
Attorney’s
Association
released
a
statement
arguing
that
the
elimination
of
cash
bail
would
“not
only
exacerbate
this
problem
but
would
also
put
the
victims
of
crime
and
their
families
at
great
risk.”


NATIONAL
GUARD
SAYS
THERE
WERE
‘NO
CONFRONTATIONS’
WITH
PROTESTERS
DURING
BIDEN
INAUGURATION

The
Association
noted
that
since
the
passage
of
a
similar
law,
the
Bail
Reform
Act
of
2017,
the
state
has
“seen
a
substantial
increase
in
defendants
deciding
to
ignore
the
courts
and
simply
not
appear
in
court
as
ordered,
thus
avoiding
responsibility.”
 

This
phenomenon

played
out
in
New
York
last
summer
as
a
result
of
state
lawmakers
passing
sweeping
changes
to
the
state’s
bail
law,
limiting
the
number
of
crimes
for
which
judges
could
set
bail.
Almost
everyone

about
90%
of
the
state’s
arrests

could
walk
out
of
jail
after
being
processed.

In
early
June,
when
protests
against
police
were
gaining
momentum,
hundreds
of
looters
and
rioters
arrested
by
the
New
York
Police
Department
in
the
span
of
a
few
days
were
released
from
custody
without
bail.

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But
for
Illinois’
criminal
justice
reform
bill
to
become
law,
it
will
require
the
signature
of
Gov.
J.B.
Pritzker.
The
Democratic
governor
has
not
said
he
would
approve
it,
but
praised
the
measure
shortly
after
its
passage
last
week.

“I
have
long
held
that
an
essential
mark
of
good
governance
is
a
willingness
to
change
the
laws
that
have
failed
the
people
of
Illinois,”
Pritzker
said.
“This
criminal
justice
package
carries
with
it
the
opportunity
to
shape
our
state
into
a
lesson
in
true
justice
for
the
nation.”


Fox
News’
Barnini
Chakraborty
contributed
to
this
report
.

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