Thousands of defendants charged with second-degree murder, abduction, burglary, robbery, and other serious crimes will be released from prison thanks to new legislation that abolishes bail across the state of Illinois, which was approved by Democrats and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker (D).
Even for some of the most serious offences, Illinois will be the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail as of January 1, 2023. As a consequence, hundreds of people accused of crimes including murder and abduction will have to be released, according to the local district attorneys.
The district attorney in Winnebago County, Illinois, alone, predicts that 400 charged felons will be released from prison despite having been charged with serious crimes. Similar to this, 60 murder suspects in Will County, Illinois, who were charged with crimes, will be released from prison.
The following violent offenses will no longer be subject to bail in 2019:
- Drug-induced homicide
- Second-degree murder
- Aggravated battery
- Nearly all drug offenses
- Aggravated DUI
- Aggravated fleeing
- Threatening a public official
According to Johnson County, Illinois Sheriff Peter Sopczak, “Anyone sitting in prison right now with all these outstanding charges, they’re going to be allowed out.” They will be released into the streets once the gates are unlocked.
Even individuals accused of domestic abuse are now permitted to be freed from prison after only 24 to 48 hours under the new rule. The accused will be freed from custody without posting bail if the prosecution is unable to show that they pose a direct danger to one or more people.
Jim Glasgow, the (D) district attorney for Will County, said that it would “devastate the state of Illinois.”
J. Hanley, the district attorney for Winnebago County, said that the new rule would force him to release domestic abusers who killed their spouses.
He stated, “Imagine this extremely narrow legal criterion releasing the defendant who killed his wife, to whom he no longer represents a danger.”
Similar laws have been passed in places like New York and have correlated with increases in violent crime, even if they do not completely eliminate cash bail. According to recently made public statistics from the New York Police Department, defendants who were released from custody as a result of the “No Bail” statute were quickly apprehended again for new offences.
For instance, ten suspects have been detained approximately 500 times over the last two years, yet the majority of them continue to be freed from custody without posting bail.