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Livingston County state’s attorney is the latest to sue over the SAFE-T Act

Randy Yedinak speaks
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (pool)
Livingston County State's Attorney Randy Yedinak.

Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak is suing to try stopping the controversial SAFE-T Act from taking effect next year.

The criminal justice measure eliminates cash bail in Illinois starting in January, along with a host of other reforms.

In a message posted to social media, Yedinak said he doesn't oppose bail reform, but said the SAFE-T Act is full of contradictions and ambiguities that will make it nearly impossible to enforce.

“The act, as it stands, will impact the safety of every citizen, regardless of what they look like, where they live or how much money they have in their bank account. I am hoping and counting on our legislature to pass responsible amendments,” Yedinak said.

Supporters of the law say ending cash bail would remove finances as a barrier to pretrial release and would prevent potentially violent inmates from posting bond before trial.

A growing number of prosecutors and police administrators argue the law is unconstitutional.

The state's attorney and sheriff in McLean County filed a similar lawsuit against the SAFE-T Act earlier this month.

Yedinak raised concerns similar to those from others in law enforcement. He said judges will no longer have discretion to assess community safety when considering pretrial detention for defendants accused of various offenses not specified in the act, such as aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, burglary, robbery and drug-induced homicide.

For defendants charged with offenses that may qualify for probation, a judge would have to consider the defendant to be a flight risk.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.