In 2017, Illinois Democrats introduced a bail reform bill that passed into law. The new law mandates that courts impose the least restrictive conditions possible for criminal case defendants.
The law has made the Land of Lincoln’s “Catch and Release” criminal justice problems even worse, and it has left our state’s families in danger from violent predators who belong in jail, but are released with absurdly low bails.
Take the case of a Chicago Transit Authority driver who repeatedly raped a mentally handicapped woman – on his bus! He bailed out of Cook County jail by posting $300. Another incident saw a bad guy with a gun try to shoot and kill another man near Wrigley Field. $500 bought his release.
In fact, in Cook County, a judge must ensure that “the defendant has the present ability to pay the amount necessary to secure his or her release on bail” per Chief Judge Timothy Evans.
It’s almost as though our state’s leaders worry more about releasing criminals from jail than protecting our families.
The Illinois “Bail Reform” bill suggests electronic home monitoring, curfews, drug counseling, stay-away orders, and in-person reporting. Obviously many leave jail without posting a cent. Just like the six-time felony DUI suspect released in Cook County who, days later, killed an Illinois State Trooper while drunk and high on drugs.
Given the low bails, is it any wonder why hundreds don’t show for follow-up court dates? And why hundreds more on electronic home monitoring go “missing”? In fact, according to ABC7 Chicago, Cook County has more electronic home monitoring cases gone AWOL than the other 101 counties in Illinois combined.
These missing defendants include armed habitual criminals, sex offenders, armed robbers, and a host of other unsavory characters that pose a real danger to the community.
Need more examples? In Bloomington, a woman who police say stabbed another woman three times needed only $525 to leave jail. Another McLean County armed robber who cops say used a stolen handgun needed only $1000 to return to the streets to look for more victims.
The Prairie State bail reform stands as just another aspect of radical soft-on-crime policies our state political leaders have implemented recently. They serve to make our streets and communities more dangerous for residents and our families.
At the same time, everyday people see how state government fails to keep criminals off the streets. That’s why more and more wise and prudent Illinoisans have embraced gun ownership to keep their families safe.
Whoa, Nelly! Arthur Willis, one of the newly-assigned judges on Cook County’s bond court bench, took a whack at setting bail recently and…WOW! He’s going to be something to watch.
In one of the first cases before Willis last week, three people were charged with Class X felony armed robbery after they allegedly held up and battered a man on a CTA train in the Loop. Class X is the second most serious level of crime in Illinois behind murder.
A 39-year-old man told police that two men, a woman, and a female juvenile robbed him on a train at the State-Lake station late last Wednesday. The victim said 26-year-old Alija Olds of the Gold Coast pointed a gun to his head and then to his stomach as Olds took valuables from the victim’s pockets. Two females and 19-year-old Nathaniel Goodwin who were with Olds battered the man and a 17-year-old boy who was also on the train, prosecutors said.
Police found Olds, Goodwin, 20-year-old De’Ovenonna Thomas, and the juvenile at a nearby convenience store where the victims subsequently identified them as the offenders, according to court records. The robbery victim suffered bruising and swelling of his head, face, and body, police said. The teen’s left arm was reportedly swollen.
Olds and Goodwin were charged with Class X felony armed robbery and two counts of battery. Thomas was charged with Class X felony armed robbery and one count of battery. Details of the juvenile’s charges were not immediately available.
In court, Willis set bail for Thomas and Goodwin at $2,000, meaning that they can go free by paying a deposit bond of just $200. For a Class X felony allegation. Willis said the two will have to go on electronic monitoring when they post bail.
Olds was already free on bail awaiting trial for burglary to auto in Lincoln Park. Willis revoked that bail and set bail in the robbery at $5,000.
Meaning Willis only needs $500 to get out of jail to go rob and beat some more innocent people.