At Issue: Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans Talks Bail Reform

Craig Dellimore
June 14, 2019 - 3:40 pm

(Craig Dellimore/WBBM)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The head of Cook County’s Judges says those who insist the courts are now letting too many dangerous criminals out on bail are wrong — and are misleading the public.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and other law enforcement officials, have complained that new bail policies designed to prevent defendants from staying behind bars just because they are poor are allowing more dangerous people to go free too.

First, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans points out, people given affordable bail are only accused of crimes and presumed innocent. And, he said,  judges shouldn’t allow any cash bond for people deemed dangerous.

Evans added that of the 30,000 people freed on bond over a year and a half, fewer than one percent — 181 of them — committed violent crimes while out. But that’s still 181 crimes, he admitted.

The only way to guarantee that someone wouldn't commit a crime is to keep "everyone" locked awaiting trial, he said. But that would violate the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, he said.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans talks about bail reform on our AT ISSUE program this weekend and you can hear more Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.