‘Criminals Will Run Wild’: Illinois Becomes First State to Abolish Cash Bail as Fears Mount

FILE - In this June 25, 2019, file photo, Gov. J. B. Pritzker signs a bill in Chicago. Pritzker's administration says it will put more than $3.7 billion into highway construction next year alone. The Democrat on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 released the annual update to the state's transportation improvement …
AP Photo/Amr Alfiky File

Illinois eliminated cash bail on Monday, making it the first state in the nation to do so in a decision that brought heavy criticism.

The state Supreme Court ruled recently that a law abolishing cash bail was constitutional, the Hill reported, noting the law is titled the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act.

The outlet continued:

Defendants accused of a specific list of felonies and violent misdemeanors can still be detained ahead of trial, but the burden will be on the state to argue the defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Cash bail has been decried as a “penalty on poverty,” with opponents of the practice claiming it gives preferential treatment to wealthy people who can afford to “pay for their freedom,” as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) put it after the state’s high court upheld the law.

In July, the Illinois Supreme Court issued the decision allowing the end of cash bail to take effect Monday, Breitbart News reported at the time.

The outlet noted the move came despite a crime wave plaguing citizens in the area, along with concern that those accused of criminal activity will commit more crimes while they await trial.

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The law in question passed in 2022, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed it. According to the article, it “will free from jail thousands of suspects accused of second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and other violent crimes.”

“A group of local law enforcement agencies sued to stop the law from taking effect, and a judge declared the law unconstitutional. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which overturned it,” the outlet stated, noting violent crime was increasing in Illinois.

In a social media post on Monday, Turning Point USA Founder and CEO Charlie Kirk commented on Illinois eliminating cash bail.

“Criminals will run wild, and cops will have no tools to stop them,” he wrote:

It is important to note that in 2021, the California Supreme Court decided to eliminate cash bail for people who could not afford it, according to NPR.


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