Leading officials of Illinois have shown their commitment to ensuring a safe environment for violent criminals only through their crime-friendly policies. According to the Washington Free Beacon, suspects accused of violent felonies are roaming free on the streets as they await their trials thanks to the end of cash bail in the state. The law, which went into effect in the middle of September, saw the release of repeat offenders whose presence back on the streets should terrify the people of Illinois.
While some states have scaled back their policies on cash bail, Illinois is the first to abolish it. Illinois Democratic governor J.B. Pritzker called the “‘historic’ statute a critical step toward a ‘more equitable and just Illinois.'”
The end of cash bail has helped violent criminals with an extensive crime record return to the streets. Nicholas Koczor is one who was recently released after filing a petition thanks to the new law. Koczor was “charged with three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer. Koczor also faces phone harassment charges after prosecutors said he left his girlfriend a voicemail that implied he could dismember her body.” Another is “Terry Johnson, who was already on parole for armed robbery and aggravated battery.” Johnson was released after allegedly breaking into a high-end boutique and stealing $68,000 worth of merchandise with six other suspects. A third is Esmeralda Aguilar, who allegedly battered four police officers in downtown Chicago, two of whom required medical attention.
State lawmaker John Curran (R) said that the release of criminals like Aguilar shows how Illinois Democrats are “prioritizing violent offenders” over law enforcement and the victims of the crimes. Curran suggested that this reality is one reason why it is so difficult to recruit law enforcement officers in the state.
The elimination of cash bail is a result of the SAFE-T Act, formally known as the Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act, which gained momentum in Illinois after the death of George Floyd in 2020.