The dirty little secret in Cook County, Illinois is that crime has few consequences. Politicians avoid talking about it and the media bury the stories for fear of angering political leaders. However, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart may now be breaking bad.
In a May 26th interview, he told WBBM radio in Chicago that he had 51 people who have been charged with first degree murder out of jail on home confinement pending trial. Fifty-one accused murderers who aren’t behind bars. Basically the city has accepted a promise by people charged with the most serious crimes to stay home and be good boys and girls. And people wonder why Chicago has a violent crime problem.
Dart, in the “At Issue” segment with Craig Dellimore, explained how Electronic Home Monitoring initially was only supposed to be an option for non-violent offenders instead of keeping them in jail if they can’t make bail. “Inconsequential cases,” as Dart said.
However, the “absolutely brilliant” judges on the bond court have granted “home confinement” to suspects charged with violent crimes. A lot of violent crimes. Most folks wouldn’t consider violent crimes “inconsequential cases.”
Dart goes on to complain of a 700% increase in aggravated discharge of a firearm suspects in the home confinement program in the past year instead of jail. Aggravated discharge of a firearm in Illinois is roughly analogous to attempted murder.
In that same period, Dart noted a 945% increase in suspects charged as armed habitual offenders who are out and wearing ankle bracelets instead of sitting behind bars if they can’t afford bail.
Frankly, looking at the indespensible Hey Jackass, one wonders how Chicago cops have managed to run down 51 murder suspects at all. Without the support of the community, cops have only hooked up seven murder suspects in all of 2019 (that’s out of 196 homicides year-to-date).
In all of 2018, only 89 murder suspects faced charges. So if Dart’s comment (at about the 6:15 mark) is correct, then Cook County judges and prosecutors have released between a third and half of all murder suspects in the last year and a half on home confinement.
And people wonder why formerly Rahm’s, now Lori Lightfoot’s paradise by the Lake has a violent crime problem.