Illinois AG sends argument to Illinois Supreme Court for the elimination of cash bail via the SAFE-T Act

Adrian Holman

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed an argument to the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday appealing for the elimination of cash bail via the SAFE-T Act that was passed last year. The appeal was made after a Kankakee Circuit County judge ruled that the part about eradicating cash bail within the SAFE-T Act was deemed to be unconstitutional.

The argument brief given to the Illinois Supreme Court by Attorney General Raoul is 167 pages long. The brief claims that having judges determine cash bail for crimes is unconstitutional.

The idea that cash bail is unconstitutional is unproven by the fact that the determination of bail by a judge is plainly seen in the Illinois Constitution. Article I, Section 9 of the Illinois Constitution states, "All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties,..." That clearly shows that anyone that commits a crime within the state of Illinois will have a bail amount established by a judge.

This statement has been in the Illinois Constitution since Illinois became a state in 1818. For 205 years, having cash bail has not been a problem within the Land of Lincoln. The argument can also be made if that they wanted to eliminate cash bail, then the proper procedure would have been to create an amendment within the Illinois State Legislature that would have required 67% of the vote instead of using the SAFE-T Act that only required 51% of the vote.

The Illinois Supreme Court will make a final decision in March. If cash bail is eliminated within the state of Illinois, then anyone who commits second-degree murder, arson, kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, and aggravated assault would then be given a citation as if he or she received a parking ticket. That would then allow for the person to commit even more crimes until their court date.

Here is an example of how the SAFE-T Act would work. The five Memphis police officers that murdered Tyre Nichols were charged with second-degree murder. If those five officers beat up and killed Nichols in Illinois after cash bail was eliminated, then those five officers would have been given citations like parking tickets instead of being rightfully detained.

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