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Illinois high court halts law that would eliminate cash bail

The Illinois Supreme Court has suspended the statewide end of cash bail for criminal defendants in an 11-hour ruling, just hours before the new law is expected to begin on Sunday.

The Superior Court enacted a stay of the statute in response to an appeal filed with the court Friday against the district judge’s ruling by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

The Supreme Court said its order was necessary to “maintain consistent pretrial procedures throughout Illinois” before making a decision on the law. promised.

The Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature passed the SAFE-T law starting Jan. 1, hoping to end cash bail — which would keep the poor in jail and the rich off the courts. He argued that it would create an unfair system of freedom while waiting. .

But state Republicans say the end of cash bail, which has historically been used to ensure defendants appear in court, will allow potentially dangerous criminals to roam free. I was afraid of

Illinois counties were expected to stop ordering bail on defendants at their first court appearance on Sunday, but many said they would ignore the new law.

Prosecutors and sheriffs in 64 counties across the state have filed lawsuits challenging the reform.

In an attempt to allay safety concerns, Democrats have added numerous crimes to the list of eligible offenders who remain incarcerated while the accused await trial.

Still, a local judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional.

Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cunnington ruled Wednesday that the General Assembly violated the constitution’s separation of powers clause. rice field.

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker said he believed the bill was constitutional and would be ruled as such by the Supreme Court.

In a statement, he called the new policy “a long-awaited reform that would make families in Illinois safer and prevent violent criminals from buying their freedom simply because they are wealthy enough.” ” he explained.

Comes with post wire.

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