Our state’s political leaders seem hell-bent on “criminal justice reform” including elimination of cash bail and pre-trial detention. Will that make our streets safer?
If “affordable bail” is any indication, the answer is “hell no!”
Affordable bail, the half-step to elimination of bail altogether, has proved a disaster since implemented in 2017. Just this year in Chicago alone, among the handful of incidents where police have identified suspects, 65 innocents have been shot or seriously injured (including set ablaze) by individuals released on “affordable bail” on previous serious felony arrests. A dozen of those victims died.
Florida showed the nation how to get serious about so-called “gun violence.” They instituted a 10-20-Life law. Carry a gun in the commission of a felony, add ten years. Discharge the gun, add 20. Injure or kill someone with the gun, add 25 to life. No plea bargains, no good time credits, no parole, no probation. Real hard time.
Within a few short years, Florida’s violent crime rate fell to historic lows. After all, bad guys quickly learned that if you pull out your GAT and blast away at someone, the Sunshine State would take you out of circulation for a generation or more.
Courts eventually ruled the effective law unconstitutional but the template remains. With tweaking, it could be made constitutional and implemented here to help make the Land of Lincoln much safer.
However, that would require Illinois politicians to take meaningful action on the true root cause of violent crime: Criminals.