Gordon-Booth, Koehler defend cashless bail provision of SAFE-T Act

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PEORIA, Ill. – A local lawmaker says there’s a lot of misinformation being spread about the SAFE-T Act, even though some in both parties say change needs to happen.

Democrat State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth says what she calls “right wing extremist MAGA propaganda” about the pending end to the cash bail system in the state is offensive to her.

“As a person who is a survivor of crime themselves, who had a son who was murdered a mile from where we stand today, I take umbrage to the fact that anyone would suggest that either one of us want to see crime in our community,” said Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), during a news conference Tuesday at Gordon-Booth’s Campustown office, with State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria).

State’s Attorneys in Illinois, though the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association, claim more needs to be done to fix the SAFE-T Act. The group claims there’s myriad crimes that the accused could be released from jail while charged with, when they should stay behind bars because they’re threats to the community.

But Gordon-Booth says she just talked to state’s attorneys Tuesday about the matter.

“We’ve been meeting consistently with them, to discuss implementation, to discuss tweaks, clarifications, ways to strengthen certain levels on intent,” said Gordon-Booth. “Those State’s Attorneys on that call today said, ‘We want to eliminate cash bail.’”

The provision of the SAFE-T Act, State Senator Dave Koehler says, would keep the worst criminals behind bars, based on rules the Illinois Supreme Court has put in place. Koehler blames misinformation on election year politics.

“All of the sudden, the right wing is peddling fear,” said Koehler. “Fear is a very big motivator. You scare everybody in to thinking we’re letting out criminals willy-nilly. That’s not true. I want you to read that report. I challenge anybody who is concerned about this to read that report and see the sense that it makes.

CLICK HERE to read the report from the Illinois Supreme Court.

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September 13, 2022 at 05:48PM

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