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Finally a sane mind in an insane world…James Glasgow is a Will County, Illinois State’s Attorney and he’s had enough.
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He has filed a lawsuit that seeks to put a stop to the elimination of cash bail in Illinois in 2023.
The lawsuit targets the SAFE-T Act, signed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on February 22, 2021, that went into effect July 1, 2021.
The law eliminates the cash bail system or payments that a judge may impose as a condition of a person’s release from custody pending trial.
The law also allows Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office to conduct investigations into “possible patterns or practices of unlawful policing.”
Glasgow’s office put out a news release announcing the lawsuit. It was filed Friday in Will County court and names Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Gov. JB Pritzker, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Welch, and Illinois Senate President Don Harmon as defendants.
James Glasgow said: “I never, in my 40 years in this profession, ever thought I’d ever see anything close to this.The intent of this law is to destroy the criminal justice system in Illinois, and I’m not going to let that happen.”
He went on to highlight the insanity. He asked, “Have you ever heard of any government passing a law to release everyone in their jails? No one has ever done that before, and no one would ever think to do that.
“That would be suicide.”
He added some common sense thoughts. “The bottom line is there has to be a balance.”
“And when someone crosses a line, with regards to violent crime, that has to be addressed aggressively in order to prevent that person from harming other people,” he said.
How else do we deter criminals? If they know they will not be held accountable, what is to stop them from committing crimes?
The lawsuit alleges that the SAFE-T Act imposes several new and significant obligations on him while simultaneously “fundamentally altering the criminal justice system in Illinois, especially with regard to the elimination of cash bail.”
Glasgow’s lawsuit also claims that the SAFE-T Act is in direct violation of the bail provisions of the Illinois Constitution.
Another allegation says that the act will lead to increased delays in cases handled by his office and in delays in the administration of justice. There will be a need for more staff and additional workload costs.
“Without the ability to secure the appearance of defendants for trial, [Glasgow] will be severely hamstrung in his ability to proceed with the prosecution of cases, much like the courts will be stripped of their inherent authority to manage their courtrooms,” Glasgow’s lawsuit said.
Over the summer, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot may have been trying to get ahead of the blowback that’s coming from her soft-on-crime policies by arguing that judges shouldn’t allow those charged with violent crimes out on bail, a 180 from her usual stance.
Glasgow’s lawsuit may knock her back to reality.