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Attorney General files intent to appeal judge’s bail ruling

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul informed the state Supreme Court on Friday that he will appeal a local judge’s ruling that eliminating cash bail for criminal defendants is unconstitutional. did.

Raoul’s notice calls for the High Court to overturn Wednesday’s ruling by Kankakee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cunnington. Cunnington decreed that the General Assembly violated the constitution’s separation of powers clause by abolishing cash bail in a criminal justice overhaul of the so-called SAFE-T Act. The issue of bail should be left to the judiciary, he said.

The remainder of the SAFE-T Act, which updates law enforcement and court rules and procedures, will remain in place and take effect on Sunday.

Prosecutors and sheriffs from 64 counties have filed lawsuits challenging a bail provision called the Pretrial Fairness Act. Cunnington’s judgment did not include the injunction sought by plaintiffs.

According to Raoul, that means the law is still in force, but the judge’s order prepared by lead plaintiff, Will County State Attorney James Glasgow, found it “superficially unconstitutional and invalid and unenforceable.”

“We are monitoring developments, but we have found Judge Cunnington’s ruling to be applicable here in Will County,” state assistant Kevin Myers said in a statement in the county court on Monday. He added that it would be maintained.

The SAFE-T law grew out of the May 2020 Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Encouraged by state Supreme Court committees recommending reforms, the legislature abolishes bail and reduces the burden on defendants who are innocent until proven guilty and cannot afford the price of pretrial freedom. Reduced.

Cunnington agreed with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that the Constitution provides for bail as a means of ensuring defendants’ appearance at trial. Raul and other defendants argue that the reform exists to reassure defendants that they have an opportunity to be free while awaiting trial.