Starting September 18, Illinois will become the first state in the country to curb the use of cash bail.
The state Supreme Court upheld a law that was approved by the state legislature two years ago, which will be effective in 60 days.
By a 5-2 vote in favor, the state supreme court overturned a lower court’s earlier ruling that the law was unconstitutional.
In early 2021, JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, signed into law the elimination of cash bail, a provision of the SAFE-T ACT, which was scheduled to take effect on the first day of this year.
However, sheriffs from 64 counties, spurred on by support from some prosecutors, filed lawsuits arguing the provision was unconstitutional.
In this way, they managed to temporarily get a Kankakee County judge to rule in their favor in December.
Immediately afterwards, The state appealed the magistrate’s decision and then it was up to the state Supreme Court to suspend the measure to analyze the case in detail.
In this regard, Mary Jane Theis, Chief Justice, representing the majority, set her position citing that the Illinois state constitution should not require that bail be the only means to ensure that those accused of crimes appear in court. the judgments.
For some people, By establishing a cash bond, citizens who do not represent a risk to their environment are unfairly punishedbut that, lacking sufficient money to obtain their freedom, they have no alternative but to wait months or even years deprived of their liberty pending trial.
Now, Under the new law, any individual accused of having committed criminal offenses will not have to pay to be released from jail while awaiting trial.
Perhaps in some certain cases, Offenders would be ordered to remain in custody, this to reduce the risk of escaping when the crime with which they are charged is considered serious.
In a statement, Kwame Raoul, Illinois Attorney General, praised the approval of the law that is about to go into action.
“The Court’s decision concurs with my office in consistently advocating that the General Assembly had the authority to eliminate cash bail and replace it with a system whereby people are only held pending trial if they pose a threat. to the public or are a flight risk,” the letter states.
Source: La Opinion