SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — An amendment has been filed to change the controversial SAFE-T Act’s pretrial release provisions.
Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) filed a bill Monday that changes conditions of prosecutors pursuing holding people accused of crimes. This is after several state’s attorneys and sheriffs across the state have openly criticized the SAFE-T Act.
Bennett says he understands their concerns.
“As a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of presuming innocence for individuals before being proven guilty, supporting police and keeping violent criminals out of our neighborhoods,” he said. “[This bill] is an effort to improve consistency in the SAFE-T Act and allow law enforcement officials to continue to effectively perform their duties and protect our communities.”
The bill clarifies that anyone released before their trial needs to prove to the judge they are not a risk of obstructing their proceeding. It also specifically excludes pre-trial release from people accused of crimes that someone can receive a life sentence, and also considers past non-appearances in court as “conclusive” evidence for deciding pre-trial release.
He hopes his bill is discussed on the Senate floor during the fall veto session. The pre-trial release section of the SAFE-T Act goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.