On Monday, Illinois became the first state to eliminate cash bail. A provision of the state’s criminal justice reform law was supposed to eliminate the use of cash bail across the state on January 1, but was put on hold after prosecutors and sheriffs in 64 counties filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law. In a 5-2 ruling in July, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned a ruling by a Kankakee County judge that the law ending cash bail was unconstitutional.
The bill does not limit its application to those newly charged with crimes. Defendants who are currently being held on cash bail are entitled to request a hearing to determine if they should be released. In fact, according to this story, a woman—who is alleged to have assaulted four Chicago police officers on Sunday—was released from custody on the day the cash bail was eliminated.
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