US state passes purge law with fears 400 criminals could be released next year

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A US state has passed a frightening law which could see hundreds of criminals released next year, sparking fears of a real life purge.

The controversial law, called the Safe-T-Act, will waive cash bail for 12 non-detainable offences including second-degree murder and kidnapping in Illinois next year.

Petrified residents have compared it to the action horror movie The Purge, which sees violent crime become legal for 24 hours each year.

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The law, which stands for ‘Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today’, hopes to reform the cash bail system.

It will also restrict who can be arrested and held in custody.

Other offences to be waived for cash bail include; aggravated battery, arson, drug-induced homicide, burglary, aggravated fleeing and eluding, robbery, intimidation, aggravated driving under the influence, drug offences, and threatening a public official.

Social media users on TikTok and Twitter branded the act as "insane."

One person said: "The purge is coming to Chicago, Illinois…

"January 1, 2023 begins the ruling of 2nd degree murder becoming non-detainable.

"Chicago will be the crime capital of the world."

Another person commented: "It's a bill that brings the Purge directly to the streets of the entire state of Illinois. It's shameful."

A third wrote: "Get out of Illinois.

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"It is way too dangerous to live or work there.

"The state legislature and Governor are insane to have passed this."

The Illinois State Attorney J Hanley claims the historic move will see 400 suspects released under the act, reports The Sun.

“Approximately 400 criminal defendants will be released back into your community,” he said.

The act would see suspects of the crimes become eligible for bail if the prosecutors fail to present "clear and convincing evidence" that the person is a threat to society.

However, some people believe the bill will allow low-income suspects to fight their cases.

The Centre for American Progress said three out of five people sitting in a prison cell in the US have been accused of a crime that they didn't commit.

The new law aims to lower the number of almost 500,000 people that are wrongly imprisoned.

Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker said: “Transforming the pretrial detention system so low-income people aren’t thrown behind bars while only the wealthy walk free, diverting low-level drug crimes into substance treatment programs and reducing excessive stays in prison."

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