Attorney General candidate DeVore joins local GOP to oppose SAFE-T-Act

Republican Attorney General candidate Tom DeVore speaks at a forum about the SAFE-T-Act...
Republican Attorney General candidate Tom DeVore speaks at a forum about the SAFE-T-Act Thursday night at Bloomington's Freedom Baptist Church.(25 News Now/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 11:20 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Area Republicans expressed their opposition Thursday night to the SAFE-T-Act, approved by the Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker.

The McLean County GOP hosted a forum at Bloomington’s Freedom Baptist Church featuring candidates including Attorney General hopeful Tom DeVore.

He suggested it’s not a coincidence that the key provision of eliminating cash bail won’t take effect until after the election because it will create chaos in the criminal justice system.

DeVore said the entire SAFE-T-Act must be repealed completely, not just amended in a so-called trailer bill during the fall veto session.

He claims the law will not correct inequities in the system because a judge still has to decide whether to detain defendants regardless of their financial status.

“The judge can tell the rich guy I’m going to let you go based on your promise and the poor guy I’ll just detain you until your trial without offering you any ability to be released,” said DeVore.

About 60 Illinois State’s Attorneys, including chief prosecutors in McLean, Tazewell, and Knox Counties, are suing the state to declare the law unconstitutional.

The SAFE-T-Act was also a major subject of discussion earlier this week in the only debate between DeVore and Democratic incumbent Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

In that debate, Raoul defended the work of his colleagues from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, who he said spent months crafting the bill’s language with legal experts, criminal justice advocates and law enforcement.

Those stakeholders continue meeting to decide on possible changes, said Raoul.

Other Republicans speaking at Thursday night’s forum were incumbent State Rep. Dan Caulkins of the 101 District, State Sen. candidate Desi Anderson from the new 46th District and State Rep. candidate Scott Preston in the new 91st District.

Republican candidate for Governor Darren Bailey did not attend the forum, but he was represented by David Paul Blumenshine of Normal, who works for the Bailey campaign.