Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Claims Critics ‘Misrepresenting’ Bail Abolishment Law Set to Free Murder, Burglary Suspects

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service/Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service/Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), running for re-election against Republican challenger Darren Bailey, says critics are “misrepresenting” the state’s upcoming bail abolishment law that will free suspects accused of murder, burglary, and kidnapping, among other crimes.

Beginning January 1, 2023, Illinois will become the first state in the nation to have eliminated cash bail — even for some of the most violent crimes.

As Breitbart News reported, local officials across Illinois have sounded the alarm on the number of violent crime suspects who will be freed from county jails as a result of the law. Pritzker, though, said late last week that critics simply “do not understand” the law.

“One thing I think is reasonable is there are people who do not understand the SAFE-T Act and are misrepresenting it,” Pritzker said. “So making changes to the language is such, so that people will understand.”

Republican State Sen. Darren Bailey, running against Pritzker in the state’s gubernatorial race, said the law will spur a crime wave even larger than the one currently sweeping Illinois.

“Governor Pritzker has created the crime that goes on in Chicago and on our streets,” Bailey told Illinois Radio Network. “Friends, on January 1, the crime that we are reading about in Chicago will open up across our state.”

For local law enforcement, there is no misrepresentation of the law.

In Winnebago County, Illinois, the district attorney estimates that about 400 criminal suspects will be freed from jail despite their being accused of violent crimes. Likewise, in Will County, Illinois, about 640 charged criminals will be freed from jail, including 60 accused of murder.

Violent crimes for which bail will be abolished next year include second-degree murder, drug-induced homicide, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, aggravated battery, drug offenses, aggravated drunk driving, aggravated fleeing, arson, intimidation, and threatening a public official.

Similarly, the law allows suspects accused of domestic violence to be released from jail after just 24 to 48 hours. If prosecutors cannot prove that the suspect is a direct threat to one or more people, they will be released from jail without bail.

New York has implemented a similar law, though it does not fully abolish cash bail, that is coinciding with surges in violent crime. New York Police Department data reveals that suspects freed from jail thanks to New York’s “No Bail” law were rearrested for other crimes at rapid rates.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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