On Monday, Illinois became the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail, a decision that drew strong criticism.
The Hill reported that the state Supreme Court recently ruled that the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, a law abolishing cash bail, is constitutional.
The outlet continued:
Defendants accused of a specific list of felonies and violent misdemeanors can still be detained ahead of trial, but the burden will be on the state to argue the defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Cash bail has been decried as a “penalty on poverty,” with opponents of the practice claiming it gives preferential treatment to wealthy people who can afford to “pay for their freedom,” as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) put it after the state’s high court upheld the law.
In July, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down a ruling that cleared the way for the elimination of cash bail to go into effect on Monday, Breitbart News reported back in July.
This decision was made despite a surge in crime affecting local residents, as well as concerns that individuals accused of criminal activity might engage in further crimes while awaiting trial.
The law in question passed in 2022, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed it.
According to the article, it “will free from jail thousands of suspects accused of second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and other violent crimes.”
“A group of local law enforcement agencies sued to stop the law from taking effect, and a judge declared the law unconstitutional.
That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which overturned it,” the outlet stated, noting violent crime was increasing in Illinois.
It is also important to note that in 2021 according to NPR, the California Supreme Court decided to eliminate cash bail for people who could not afford it.
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