The victims of the low bail movement that progressives have created
By pretending to champion as victims people who are accused of serious crimes, progressives are re-victimizing some of their favorite objects of concern.
The Left thinks too many people are in jail and prison. The crime drop that has accompanied what they derisively call "mass incarceration" means nothing to them. Now openly the party of felons — with states like Virginia allowing felons to vote and Bernie Sanders calling for even the vilest imprisoned people to participate in the selection of our political elders, criminals are now an important constituency for the Dems.
Incarcerating people who are awaiting trial is obviously potentially unjust, given that some of them will be found not guilty. The sole legitimate reason to keep people who have not been convicted behind bars is the fear of flight from the jurisdiction where justice awaits. And that's why the system of bail (and bail bondsmen) exists.
Posting a sum of money (or a lien on some valuable property) that would be forfeited is supposed to guarantee that the accused will appear in court.
Enter the "bail reform" movement, which seeks to make posting bond economical — even easy. No state has gone farther than Illinois, where a 2017 Bail Reform Act has proved so problematic that a repeal movement is underway.
Cook County judges have sharply lowered bonds for people accused of violent domestic attacks and prosecutors are dropping more of these cases, placing victims at risk as potentially dangerous suspects are released from custody, a Tribune investigation has found.
The changes follow efforts by top county officials to reduce jail overcrowding and address long-standing racial inequities in bonds that can keep defendants in custody simply because they cannot pay. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle implemented the new measures with the support of State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Chief Judge Timothy Evans.
Advocates for battered women applaud the intent of those reforms but say prosecutors and judges are now releasing suspects without fully considering the safety of domestic battery survivors.
"Reform is being pursued at the expense of the victims. They have been left out of the conversation," said Amanda Pyron, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network.
Photo credit: Daniel Schwen.