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Illinois becomes the first state to pass the “Purge Law”

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A new law in Illinois could replicate the movie “The Purge,” making it the first state to have a law abolishing cash bail.

On January 1st of 2023 the Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act will commence the law in the state of Illinois. This act will get rid of the cash bail system in its entirety. 

The Safe-T Act would allow criminals a pre-trial release for select crimes to prosecutors that fail to show “clear and convincing evidence” that they could be a threat to a specific individual. 

The law will pertain to 12 non-detainable offenses such as, second-degree murder, arson, drug-induced homicide, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated battery, burglary, intimidation, aggravated driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding, drug offenses, and threatening a public official.

Officials that instated the act believe it will reduce arrests and limit those put away based on the crime. Those who oppose believe the consequences of passing this will mirror the movie “The Purge.”

“I’m very concerned about an increase in violent crime. But again I do want to stress there is still time to fix it. And the state’s attorneys are working very hard as we have been for the last year and a half to fix this law. It is very fixable, where we can still eliminate cash bail but make sure the right people are in custody and everybody else who’s not a danger gets out,” said Illinois’ attorney Robert Berlin.

Unfortunately, the consequences of the Safe-T Act make an impact on how fast arrested criminals must be processed in the system. Due to prosecutors only being allotted 48 hours to decide whether the alleged criminal should be released. Investigators believe that 48 hours isn’t enough time to collect valuable evidence from surveillance cameras, laboratory work, and forensic research.

Only time will tell whether this law will do more good than harm. The results could decide if other states will implement similar laws.