YORKVILLE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Kendall County State’s Attorney is suing Illinois in hopes to change the new SAFE-T Act scheduled to start on January 1.
Attorney Eric Weis is joining several other state’s attorneys who have made a similar move, such as attorneys for Will and McHenry Counties. The suit, which was filed Friday in Kendall County Circuit Court by Weis and County Sheriff Dwight Bard, names the Illinois General Assembly and Governor JB Pritzker as defendants, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Weis said to county board members that he is trying to prevent the “horrendous unintended consequences” of some of the provisions in the new act.
“It will have huge impacts and I just don’t think people realize what’s really coming,” Weis said. “It’s not a Republican or Democrat thing. The two state’s attorneys who filed first are Democrats, so I’m telling you this is not politics. It is something that truly needs to be addressed, and if it’s not addressed before Jan. 1, it will be almost impossible to fix.”
While supporters of the bill said that it will address long standing problems that keep poor, mostly of color defendants locked up while awaiting trial, opposers said that the new law will make it so defendants in serious crimes will not be detained.
“We are asking that the beginning of the Pre-Trial Fairness Act be pushed back six months to allow the legislators to sit down with prosecutors and law enforcement to craft a bill that will eliminate cash bail while protecting our community,” said Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser and Sheriff Ron Hain in a letter to the public.
Law enforcement will have to convince a judge that an offender is a continuing threat in order to be detained, according to Weis. He said that means that if a person killed his or her spouse but no one else is at risk, they person would not be detained.
“What will you tell victims?” Weis said. “Sorry your case can’t be ruled on because they aren’t here?”
“There are a lot of good things and reforms as part of the act, but there are a lot of unintended consequences and they need to be fixed,” Weis added. “I would hope the General Assembly would do something to correct some of these issues.”