OPINION: Cash Bail Reform A Matter Of Principle, Not Just Data

Kim Foxx speaks during a conversation at PLCCA in Maywood. From left to right: The Maywood Mayor Nathaniel George Booker, Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey and PLCCA founder and Chairman Bishop Claude Porter. | Shanel Romain 

Thursday, January 5, 2023 || OPINION || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

At the stroke of midnight Sunday, Illinois was supposed to be the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail. As of Jan. 2, however, the Chicago Tribune reported that Cook County’s judicial system “chugged along … in the same way it has for years” under the old rules governing pretrial proceedings.

That’s because a Kankakee County judge ruled in favor of downstate prosecutors who sued to stop the no-cash bail policy — one of the major provisions in the larger SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform bill — from taking effect. The lawsuit claims the state legislature violated the Illinois Constitution’s separation of powers clause and interfered with judges’ ability to set bail.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has appealed the decision, and the Illinois Supreme Court has halted the no-cash bail policy’s implementation while they process Raoul’s appeal.

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