Good morning, Chicago.
One day after the Illinois Supreme Court paused plans to end cash bail and other major changes to pretrial proceedings, Cook County’s judicial system chugged along Sunday in the same way it has for years, even as prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges prepared for the massive shift.
The late-hour ruling by the high court just one day before some of the biggest provisions of the SAFE-T Act were supposed to go into effect had the presiding judge overseeing court on New Year’s Day worried about disorder. But felony defendants moved smoothly through pretrial proceedings Sunday, the first day the accused were supposed to stand for appearances under the new provisions.
The SAFE-T Act eliminates cash bail and reforms pretrial processes across the state, but in recent months the law has become a lightning rod for critics, including a majority of state’s attorneys across Illinois who said implementing the changes would endanger citizens.
Prosecutors in more than 60 counties, mostly from downstate, sued to stop the no-cash bail policy and other provisions of the act. Kankakee County Judge Thomas Cunnington ruled in their case on Dec. 28, siding with those prosecutors and saying the state legislature violated the separation of powers clause in the Illinois Constitution when it eliminated cash bail and interfered with the judiciary’s ability to set bail.
Read more on the full story from A.D. Quig and Madeline Buckley.
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A Tribune analysis of 2022 city data found that tens of thousands of serious calls lingered in the 911 system for longer than it typically takes to get a pizza delivered.
Chicago has long struggled with times when there are too many calls for assistance and not enough police to respond, but the latest findings illustrate how significant the problem has become and how the burden isn’t shared evenly.
After a two-year spike during the pandemic and national outrage over police accountability, Chicago has begun to see a decline in homicides, as the Chicago Police Department works to correct crime trends to levels before the coronavirus and turmoil over the killing of George Floyd took hold.
“Our plans in 2020 were disrupted by civil unrest and the gun violence crisis as well as the global pandemic,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown told the Tribune. “So we obviously had to address what was happening.”
When Lizette Garcia was 17, she felt she had little choice but to lie on her resume to get jobs that would provide enough money to support her son and help her mother. She would embellish it with false details about her education level and the time she had spent at previous jobs. But Garcia needed the money and she was committed to learning the craft required wherever she landed, said the now-32-year-old mother.
While Garcia is not exactly proud to have lied, “at least my job did not affect the lives of thousands of people,” she said. Never a political position, she laughed.
There was no shortage of significant stories around the Chicago suburbs in 2022, including the mass shooting at the Independence Day Parade in Highland Park on July 4 that left seven people dead.
Here’s a look at the top Tribune stories from the Chicago suburbs in 2022.
A week earlier, the Chicago Bears kept it close for a half against the Buffalo Bills. Previously they’ve waited until the fourth quarter to melt down.
On Sunday at Ford Field, the Bears had two decent offensive possessions to begin, and then it turned into a good, old-fashioned butt-kicking. 10 thoughts after the Detroit Lions demolished the Bears 41-10.