THE PURGE law is set to take effect at 12:01a.m. on January 1. Yeah, moments after midnight, jails in a sizeable number of counties will begin releasing bad guys into their communities. Earlier this week, a judge struck down the measure as unconstitutional for the 64 counties who challenged the law. As for the other 38? They’ve still got it.
And yes, it’s complicated.
Here’s the quick rundown from The Center Square:
(The Center Square) – After months of debate over the pros and cons of the criminal justice package known as the SAFE-T Act, a judge has ruled the ending of cash bail in Illinois is unconstitutional. But confusion remains because the decision only affects those counties that filed lawsuits challenging the measure.
Judge Thomas Cunningham ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, 65 district attorneys and sheriffs from around the state who filed lawsuits claiming the Pre-Trial Fairness Act was unconstitutional.
The judge said the SAFE-T Act violated the separation of powers and the Victims’ Rights Act, noting that the Illinois Supreme Court previously ruled that judges have “independent, inherent authority to deny or revoke bail to ‘preserve the orderly process of criminal procedure.’”
The cashless bail provision in the SAFE-T acted limited judges’ discretion in setting cash bill to only specific crimes.
According to the Kankakee County State’s Attorney, the ruling means the bail reforms spelled out in the law will not take effect in the 64 counties that filed lawsuits challenging the measure. During a news conference Thursday, state Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, said that is not an ideal situation.
And, for you cartographers out there, here’s the map, courtesy of WAND.
For those of you living in “pink” counties, it’s not to late to call your respective state’s attorneys. Ask them why in the heck they aren’t in this, or if they’re supportive of “catch and release” without any cash bail?
Sure, the collar counties or others like the University of Illinois hometown Champaign, you’re about as likely to get anywhere as trying to pick up JB Pritzker and carry him from the dinner table.
But in other counties, it surely seems like a worthwhile question ask them.
So yes, if you’re in a pink county on the map above, it’s a fine time to wipe the dusty bunnies off your carry guns and make sure they’re ready to defend you and your family.
Maybe even do the same with your home defense shotgun.