Illinois Justice suspends Democrat's bill eliminating cash bail for felonies

Governor J.B. Pritzker intended to establish such a standard for acts such as second-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping.

Justice has stopped the criminal reform that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker wanted to carry out. The Prairie State Supreme Court decided to suspend the law that established the elimination of cash bail for felonies promoted by the Democratic governor and that was to take effect on January 1. In fact, 100 of Illinois' 102 prosecutors also opposed the Democratic governor.

Among the offenses in which Pritzker wanted to abolish cash bail were second degree murder, aggravated assault, arson, drug-induced homicide, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, assault, intimidation, aggravated fleeing and eluding, aggravated drunk driving, drug-related offenses, and threats to a public official.

According to the web portal Safewise, there were more than 4 violent crimes per 1,000 in 2022. In February of last year, the Democratic governor justified his proposal with the income level of individuals:

Transforming the pretrial detention system so low-income people aren’t thrown behind bars while only the wealthy walk free, diverting low-level drug crimes into substance-treatment programs and reducing excessive stays in prison.

"Denies victims their constitutional rights."

Keith Pekau, the Republican mayor of Orland Park - one of Illinois' largest cities - said Pritzker's law disrespects victims:

It abolishes cash bail for almost every offense. This includes, but isn’t limited to, kidnapping, armed robbery, second-degree murder, drug-induced homicide, aggravated DUI, threatening a public official, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. It denies victims their constitutional rights. And keep this in mind, businesses and homeowners will no longer be able to evict trespassers from their residence or business. Someone could decide to live in your shed, and all we can do is give them a ticket. You have to decide what level of force is required to remove them and whether or not it’s legal.

Increase in crime

New York was the first state to eliminate cash bail for any criminal act. The argument there was to combat inequality, i.e., to prevent the wealthy from escaping from prison on remand and to help people with fewer resources to avoid being imprisoned.

But his proposal had a more serious effect. Crime has increased in the state.