Local officials propose bail reform repeal, aim to restart from scratch

Assemblyman John Salka is proposing a new law aimed at repealing bail reform.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 6:14 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 6:32 PM

John Salka (R) 121 Assembly District stood at the steps of the Madison County Courthouse asking for justice. He’s proposing to repeal bail reform and start over from scratch. His new law would be open for criticism and debate publicly. Not a state budget item passed without public input.

"This bill will eliminate cash bail, return judicial discretion. It will give the choice of what to do back to our duly elected judges," he said.

Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood joined the assemblyman with some crime statistics. The sheriff says statewide shooting victims are up 88.5% from last year, and the numbers don’t stop there.

"Thirty homicides in August alone by gunfire. Last year 10 this year 30. The numbers are up, and it’s because of bail reform," he said.

Dan Butterman is running against John Salka in the 121st District Assembly race. He says there’s been amendments to bail reform that responded to the calls of law enforcement on discovery and restoring judicial discretion.

"For the Sheriff to make those kinds of claims that it is the uptick in those kinds of cases are a causation from the bail reform, that’s his case to make. I think it’s too soon for him to say. There are other factors that could be at play there, but he’s drawing a direct line to the bail reform, so therefore he needs to show the proof."

The Sheriff says all you need to do to see the change in crime is go to the Madison County Facebook page.

"It’s not about politics, it’s about public safety, and this is really hurting us, and the stats that I gave you, check those out online. Stats don’t lie," he said.

 Madison County Assistant District Attorney Sam Rodgers explains why the law needs to be repealed rather than reformed.

"It is because it was ill conceived. It was not well thought out, and the statistics that the sheriff just shared tell the story."

This proposed law is currently in the Assembly’s committee process, and has no Senate sponsorship, but since the bail reform laws passed there’s been growing pressure from law enforcement and district attorney’s across the State for some kind of change.

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