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Illinois Supreme Court Halts Elimination of Cash Bail

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has halted provisions of a new law that would eliminate cash bail for criminal defendants, issuing a stay hours before the new policies were set to take effect Sunday.

The high court said in Saturday’s order that the stay was needed to “maintain consistent pretrial procedures throughout Illinois” as the court prepares to hear arguments on the matter. The order said the court would coordinate an “expedited process” for the appeal

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed Friday with the court an appeal of a local judge’s ruling, which found that eliminating cash bail for criminal defendants is unconstitutional.

After the ruling was announced, State Rep. Dave Severin of Benton, State Representative Patrick Windhorst of Metropolis and State Representative Paul Jacobs of Pomona said in a statement saying they are encouraged by the State Supreme Court’s order that stays the end of cash bail and that chaos was likely to ensue across the state due to the confusing patchwork of counties that would have had cash bail or not. 

They went on to say in the statement that they have been steadfast in their argument that the Illinois Constitution envisions a cash bail system, and that ending cash bail was an unconstitutional and dangerous policy decision. They applauded the ruling and will await the Supreme Court’s review of the case on appeal.

(Information for this story was provided by The Associated Press and from news releases sent to the WQRL/WISH/WMCL Newsroom.)