click to enlarge Letters to the editor 09-29-22
Credit: Justin Fowler / state journal-register
Rep. Justin Slaughter raises his fist during the SAFE-T Act's January 2021 passage on the Illinois House.

I have read various articles surrounding the end of cash bail. The article in this week's Illinois Times may be the clearest explanation of where the law stands, its goals and what has been and is being done to make it more workable ("What happens when cash bail ends?" Sept. 22).

In a free society, it takes a little longer to get things right.

Lawrence Scheufele

By now you have probably heard of the SAFE-T Act signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker. Several state's attorneys are suing to prevent it. Concerns were ignored for months until public outcry made government officials address it. Naturally, they said it was nothing to be worried about.

As pressure increased, politicians who once defended it admitted perhaps it was flawed. People then heard maybe some parts of it could be tweaked. More recently, Attorney General Kwame Raoul conceded there must be ongoing conversation about the law and suggested reform, although he offered no specifics.

The problem is not only the content of the bill. There are two groups sharing alternative facts. One says the bill means one thing, the other group says another. What does it say? Judges, cops, lawyers and lawmakers themselves appear confused.

We regularly hear about democracy, but we do not have democracy. We have representative government, and representatives are democratically elected. President James Madison said of our representatives and laws, "It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood."

Unfortunately, politicians ignored Madison's warning. The fact that we are in a situation like this at all is shameful.

Joseph Monack

The victim mishandled this case herself ("Sexual assault survivor seeks justice," Sept. 22). It appears to me that there is not enough hard evidence to obtain a conviction or to get the man extradited back to Springfield.

There are a number of problems with this case. She spent the night with him, she didn't immediately contact the police, she had a prior sexual relationship with him and the DNA specimen was degraded to the point that the only thing they could tell was that it was from a male. I think the real problem is the lack of hard evidence, compounded by going home and taking a shower and not immediately reporting the incident.

The 7% rate of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted doesn't really mean much without a breakdown of all the reasons. The authorities probably mishandled the case, but the probability of a conviction appears very low and the cost of a trial would be a misuse of public funds.

Tyre Rees

I find the low percentage (of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted) stunning and disturbing.

Leslie JoJo Denny

I just want to say thank you to whoever was responsible for deciding to visit the Pharmacy Gallery for our fashion show and to take photos and cover our recent exhibit opening and event ("Wearable art comes alive," Sept. 22). The coverage was terrific. I am so pleased because it does take many hours behind the scenes, and it is our most-attended community event.

Thank you, thank you.
Bernie Hatcher

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