Thousands of suspects charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and other violent felonies will be released from prison following the implementation of a new state law eliminating bail throughout Illinois, passed by Democrats and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D).
On January 1st, 2023, Illinois will become the first state to have eliminated cash bail for any crime- even violent ones. However, this does not come without backlash from local districts attorneys who claim they will now have to release thousands of suspects charged with crimes such as murder and kidnapping.
The Winnebago County, Illinois, district attorney believes that around 400 criminals accused of violent crimes will be set free from jail despite the fact that they are charged. Similarly, in Will County, Illinois, approximately 640 offenders charged with a crime will be released from prison, including 60 individuals accused of murder.
Violent crimes for which bail will be abolished next year:
- Second-degree murder
- Drug-induced homicide
- Aggravated battery
- Nearly all drug offenses
- Aggravated DUI
- Aggravated fleeing
- Threatening a public official
Anyone sitting in jail right now with all these pending charges, they’re going to be let out,” Sheriff Peter Sopczak of Johnson County, Illinois told WTVO. “The gates are open and they’re going to be let out onto the streets.”
The new law states that suspects accused of committing domestic violence will be released from jail after only 24 to 48 hours. If prosecutors can not then provide evidence that the suspect is a direct threat to someone, said individual will be let go from custody without bail.
“It will destroy the state of Illinois,” Will County District Attorney Jim Glasgow (D) said.
Under the change, according to Winnebago County District Attorney J. Hanley, he will be compelled to release domestic abusers who went on to murder their spouses.
“Imagine the defendant who murdered his wife, to whom he no longer poses a threat, being released because of this ridiculously limited legal standard,” he said.
Although cash bail has not been completely abolished, several jurisdictions have passed similar legislation and have coincided with spikes in violent crime. Newly published NYPD data revealed that individuals who were set free because to the “No Bail” law were rearrested for new offenses at a staggering rate.
For example, ten suspects have been arrested close to 500 times in just a few years, and most are still being released from jail without bail.