An Illinois law eliminating cash bail state wide is set to go into effect on Monday, officials have revealed.
According to NBC 5 Chicago, this comes two months after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the "Pretrial Fairness Act," which is part of the larger "SAFE-T Act," was constitutional.
The law faced dozens of states’ attorneys filing suits against it, and their appeals were heard by the state’s Supreme Court, which ruled in July that the law could stand.
Under the bill, judges will determine whether suspects accused of specific felonies or violent misdemeanors who pose a risk to the community or another person, will be detained pretrial.
Judges will also be required to determine if the defendant is a flight risk.
Defendants can be denied pretrial release if charged with counts that include: aggravated discharge of a firearm, unlawful sales or delivery of firearms, human trafficking, child abduction, reckless homicide, hate crimes, threatening a public official, residential burglary, and child endangerment.
Pretrial release can be denied if the defendant poses a "real and present threat to the safety" of other people or the community and has been charged with counts that include: animal torture, driving under the influence causing great bodily harm, and driving under the influence resulting in bodily harm of a minor under the age of 16, among other counts.
Pretrial release can also be denied if the defendant was charged with a "forcible felony," which includes predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, first and second-degree murder, aggravated arson, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, and other counts.
If the defendant was charged with a felony, the court shall determine as part of the detention hearing "whether there is probable cause the defendant has committed an offense," and if "there is a finding of no probable cause, the defendant shall be released."
The bill states that "All defendants shall be presumed eligible for pretrial release," and the state "shall bear the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that "the proof is evident or the presumption great that the defendant has committed an offense listed" in subsection a of the bill, and the defendant poses a threat to others or the community.
The bill states that "decisions regarding release, conditions of release, and detention prior to trial must be individualized, and no single factor or standard may be used exclusively to order detention. Risk assessment tools may not be used as the sole basis to deny pretrial release."
In a statement published on Thursday, the Cook County Government said that "Cook County stands ready to implement all aspects of the Act, including the new initial appearance and detention hearing processes."
"With the elimination of cash bail, Cook County stands as a beacon of justice where decisions are made on safety, not dollars. Together, with all our agencies and community stakeholders, we are confident in the successful rollout and the enduring positive impact of the Pretrial Fairness Act," said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.
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