Illinois would become the first state to eliminate cash bail which is offered in return for promises to comply by the terms of bail and to appear in court for trial when the SAFE-T Act goes into effect on 01 Jan, 2023.
Among other things, this liberal sponsored bill ends cash bail statewide and will release thousands of violent criminals currently being held in jail who could not meet bail back out on the streets on New Year’s Day.
The bill has other pro-criminal passages like no more arrests for Peeping Toms or Trespassers and officers can’t even force them to leave the complainant’s property. Officers will be restricted in using force when pursuing a fleeing offender. It will also be illegal for officers to shoot a TASER into an offender’s back, pelvis or head (no provision is made for the offender moving and fighting to avoid being shocked or arrested) and the law will make it a felony offense to not comply with laws and department policies on use wearing of body cameras- and even makes a prohibition to prevent officers from reviewing their own body camera video before writing a report. SAFE right? Nowhere in the new law does it mention helping crime victims, helping the police or anything related to crime prevention or reduction.
Well Republicans and some media have “suddenly” discovered the SAFE-T act and are bringing it out in front of the voting public despite the fact it was signed into law in February of 2021. Where was the outrage when this bill was being ramrodded through the legislature?
NON-HEADLINES: FOUR ILLINOIS STATE’S ATTORNEYS HAVE FILED SUIT AGAINST PRITZKER AND IL ATTY GENERAL KWAMI RAOUL TO STOP THE IMPLIMENTATION OF THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL SAFE-T act is unconstitutional. The real headlines here- there are virtually no headlines which report the fact they are challenging the legality of this awful Chicago inspired law. Internet research shows only 3 or 4 local papers reported the suits and MSN.com (of all liberal outlets) picked up and reported the challenges.
When was the last time a law was so BAD on its face, prosecutors had to file suits before it could be put into practice? Um, never?
How is this law unconstitutional? One clever challenge is under the Illinois State Constitution bills must be confined to one subject and this soon to be implemented law floats all over the road like a drunk driver addressing bail and police conduct in a variety of different areas. (IL CONST Art 4, Sec 8)
Another constitution challenge is the state constitution requires bail and a bail process “Bail by sufficient sureties.” (IL CONST Art 1, Sec 9)
The third constitutional challenge is related to the risk of harm and to the safety of crime victims and victim’s family which is traditionally involved in the decisions made when considering granting of bail. This is taken out of judge’s hands by the SAFE-T Act. (IL CONST Art 1, Sec 8)
People in favor of the Act say it removes the racial based bail system and people accused of crimes (commonly referred to as criminals) shouldn’t have to sit in jail just because they don’t qualify for or don’t have enough money to post bail as a guarantee they will not commit crime in the future while pending their trial. They cite the fact judges still have an ability to weight flight risk and ongoing threat language in a case-by-case basis. When the nebulous language to do such a balance was pointed out, one of the bill’s sponsors interviewed by the Capital News Illinois said the language is “unclarified” and they hope to pass more laws to further explain what this law means and how it should be practiced. How is that not the definition of a terrible law?
How did such an awful, pro-criminal law get to be a law? Same old Illinois story. Most new law in the state is Chicago inspired and driven by the numerous Chicago legislators. When it is a law about crime, it is a law about Chicago, the current heart of violent crime in the nation let alone in just the state. Chicago politics always caters to Democrat voters, and here is a large number of people who could benefit from a law change. Vote for us, we made your criminal behavior less onerous if you are caught. Oh and to you victims who will suffer as a result? We don’t really need your votes.
What can go wrong with all those well-meaning liberal legislators pitching in to help criminals? Well Chicago has been practicing bail reform already for a couple of years. Since the Chicago “Affordable Bail” change went into effect, one source reports the very predictable results- 65 people have been shot or injured this year and 12 died at the hands of criminals who were released under the Chicago Affordable Bail policy. If the SAFE-T act goes into effect it will just be more of a bad thing with innocent people being shot, robbed, sexually assaulted and killed by thugs who should have been held in jail under the current system of bail which traces roots back to old England.
Thank goodness those State’s Attorneys have stood up to challenge this law in court before it goes into effect.