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Bailey’s sole defense of his Chicago “hellhole” comment just ain’t true: Suspect was out on cash bail

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Fox News

Bailey called Chicago a “hellhole” during a debate last month as the city battles a surge in violence. He pinned the blame on the city and state leadership as businesses flee the state for safer communities.

“The irony of that is, within hours after making that statement, a homeless man was burned alive in downtown Chicago,” Bailey said. “And the interesting thing is the person that committed this crime was out on cash free bail, and this is the problem.”

“Ever since then, Chicago media has been trying to get me to walk this statement back, and that’s what I’m telling these people,” he continued. “And I’m not going to do it.”

* He’s “telling these people” that story a lot

TM: You’ve called Chicago a dysfunctional hellhole. You’re going to need votes from Chicago and the surrounding areas in the suburbs. Do you have any regrets about the way you phrased that?

DB: From what I’m gathering, I believe the people of Chicago have respect for someone who is standing up and telling the truth. Isn’t it ironic within hours after I said that a homeless man was burned alive? And is it even more ironic that the person who committed that terrible crime was roaming from no cash bail from a previous crime that was committed? There’s the breakdown of dysfunction of Chicago.

* Steve Cochran show yesterday

I think it’s amazing that less than six hours after I said that a homeless man was burned alive. And then the person that created that crime, did that, was out on cash free bail. I think that is absolutely amazing.

Suburban Melrose Park resident Joseph Guardia was held without bail after his arrest for allegedly setting “Walking Man” on fire.

* And Guardia was out on bail when he allegedly committed the awful crime

On March 14, 2020, prosecutors charged Guardia with burglary and identity theft, both felonies, for crimes allegedly committed in suburban Melrose Park. Judge Arthur Willis released Guardia on his own recognizance the same day.

But just six days later, prosecutors charged Guardia with committing another burglary in suburban Bellwood. Judge Ramon Ocasio gave him a recognizance bond on the new charges, but ordered him held without bail for violating his release conditions in the Melrose Park case, records show.

On April 2, Judge Gregory Vazquez nixed the no-bail hold and allowed Guardia to go home by posting a bail deposit of $500.

Guardia then failed to appear in court for a hearing in the burglary cases on February 26, 2021 and Ocasio signed two arrest warrants, according to court records. But authorities never tracked Guardia down and he remained on the loose until police arrested him Friday for allegedly setting Kromelis on fire.

Cash bail just isn’t what its defenders say it is.

       

39 Comments
  1. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    So I guess the suburban hellholes are exporting their criminals to Chicago.


  2. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 9:59 am:

    Politics requires a rejection of reality. This is how all these conversations with criminal justice reform go. Opponents lambast reforms for things that are actually a feature of the old status quo. It’s impossible to even have a dialogue with people who are untethered from reality


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    “Cash bail just isn’t what its defenders say it is”

    Cash bail is an imperfect system that has been in place in virtually all the states for decades. Bail is an attempt by states to ensure the safety of residents from further criminal activity, and to ensure defendants returned to court. Lots of problems but to say that eliminating it (in most cases) as will happen in IL on Jan 1st will result in safer communities is dubious at best.


  4. - Levois J - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    The more details about what happened to that man the more I say that man needed to be held. Perhaps Sen. Bailey may not have been very correct about what he said, however, he made his point.


  5. - Ronson - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    Not a Bailey fan but his comments might have some appeal to Cook County residents who *are* worried about judges releasing too many people who go on to commit other crimes. The end of cash bail will bring its own questions about the kind of judges (like Arthur Willis, who released Garcia) we’re depending on to show good judgment about who is a threat and who isn’t. Those of us who care about public safety feel caught between a Dem gov who panders to the most far-left of criminal justice reformers and Bailey, who says ridiculous things about Chicago. Where are the practical lawmakers in all this?


  6. - charles in charge - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Cash bail is an imperfect system that has been in place in virtually all the states for decades.==

    Cash bail is an unjust system of wealth-based pretrial incarceration rejected by every country in the world with the exception of the U.S. and the Philippines.

    There, fixed it for you.


  7. - Dee4Three - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:19 am:

    The fact that a reform that is pretty similar to what was ushered in by. Gov Chris Christie in New Jersey in 2017 is now considered as pandering to the far left is all you need to know about the reality of this debate in 2022.


  8. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:19 am:

    ==Where are the practical lawmakers in all this?==

    Being eliminated in primaries by extremists on both sides, sadly.


  9. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    See? Robson with the unreality take. Garcia being released in 2020 has absolutely nothing at all to do with end of cash bail. Nothing. People charged with violent crimes can be held. And seeking an end to cash bail is hardly pandering to the far left. We’re an outlier globally with our use of it. We’re the most heavily incarcerated country in the history of earth. That includes comparing us to the height of the Russian Gulag system and the current imprisonment of Uighurs in China. Impossible to have a dialogue with these people.


  10. - Ronson - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    ==Being eliminated in primaries by extremists on both sides, sadly.==

    Exactly.


  11. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    “ Being eliminated in primaries by extremists on both sides, sadly.”

    Who are the left extremists and what extremist positions do they hold?


  12. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:24 am:

    as an up state resident, I can assure you that people are very upset about crimes occurring after an individual is on some sort of bail status. the cook county chief judge keeps saying there is not a high percentage of crimes occurring with this issue but the number, and the anecdotal information are more and more out there because of the internet and it is a constant refrain in discussions. Cash or no cash, ankle monitor or no, some of these cases…and we don’t even know the full extent….are very disturbing. combine that with Kim Foxx….her ARDC matter ongoing re Smollett…and her recent domestic violence call which ALSO involves her public employee security guard going to the local police on the case and the confidence in justice officials is quite suspect. topic big.


  13. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:24 am:

    “ The fact that a reform that is pretty similar to what was ushered in by. Gov Chris Christie in New Jersey in 2017 is now considered as pandering to the far left is all you need to know about the reality of this debate in 2022.”

    Exactly. I don’t know where we can go as a country when conservatives live in a completely constructed alternate reality. How to compromise with that? It’s obviously impossible as we’re discovering


  14. - The Opinions Bureau - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    “Bail is an attempt by states to ensure the safety of residents from further criminal activity, and to ensure defendants returned to court.”

    Ridiculous defense of the status quo. That literally did not work in this instance. And the cops didn’t find the guy for 15 months.

    When cash bail goes away, judges will retain the same discretion to detain people who are accused of serious crimes (like burglary), impose conditions of release (like EM and regular check-ins), and detain anyone who is rearrested while on pretrial release (even if neither offense would otherwise be detainable.)

    The difference will be that none of that will be predicated on a person’s ability to pay. Just on the nature of the alleged offense and the outcome of a validated risk assessment tool.


  15. - H-W - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    The assumption that anyone released on bail, cash or no cash, is a danger and a threat to the community and society is an offensive stereotype. It suggests all criminals are violent. This is a false proposition.

    How many times does it need to be repeated that under the new law, judges have discretion, just like before. Judge at an arraignment hear pleas as to why the person should be charged a bail, released without bail, or not granted bail. That has not changed.

    Judges have discretion, so I suppose if people want to criticize the new law that expands access to no bail releases, then those critics need to blame the legal system, the judges, the prosecutors for making mistakes at the arraignment. Blaming the Governor or the Democrats every time a mistake is made is just foolish. It is naive. It does not address the problem that a very small (as in, very small) proportion of people released with or without bail, will offend again. It is not the law that is the problem. It is the argument that somehow a different politician can eliminate these offenses.

    Neither Bailey nor DeVore nor Pritzker nor Lightfoot nor the Chicago PD, nor anyone else is going to prevent these proportionately rare events from happening. But some would suggest we punish the poor for the offenses of others. And since those poor are disproportionately ethnic minorities, suggesting we end no bail release (before the law even goes into effect) is an explicit attempt to institutionalize racism.

    Critical Race Theory 101.


  16. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    “extremists on both sides”

    OK guys I’ll bite.
    Which elected democrats have endorsed or participated in the attempted overthrow of a legitimately elected US government?
    Just one name and I’ll promise to take this “both sides are extremists!” stuff seriously.


  17. - Google Is Your Friend - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:31 am:

    == But authorities never tracked Guardia down==

    Better give the blue another billion or two!


  18. - low level - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:42 am:

    So Darren Elmer Fudd was wrong again. Who would have guessed?


  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    “extremists on both sides”

    Ah yes, the extreme position of not wanting to indefinitely incarcerate someone without proof of guilt. But not if they have a lot of money.

    Why are the same people who were telling me to not live my life in fear, suddenly afraid of everything? I though ‘life is full of risks’ was the mantra.


  20. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    Bailey’s campaign rhetoric is better suited to using his platform as a means to position himself as the leader of the sepretist movement in Southern Illinois. Perhaps he sees himself as a Chonky Jefferson Davis. Regardless it would seem that he has not surrounded himself with the campaign staff capable of running a campaign that portrays the State we live in a positive light. It is so easy to be against things.

    Darren Bailey likely struggles with trying to find something material and specific to run on. What would Darren Bailey seek to do with the might and authority of more than 12 million people and our massive joint economic activity?


  21. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    So Bailey, a far right extremist Republican is lying. Color me shocked.


  22. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    ==“extremists on both sides”==
    InvisibleMan… this was in response to a question in comments about the existence of “practical lawmakers”… not necessarily about cash bail.


  23. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    Yes Vote Quimby, I understand that.

    It is still predicated on the assumption that the lawmakers passing bills now to not incarcerate someone indefinitely without proof, are just extremists of the other side of the Bailey coin.


  24. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    “ this was in response to a question in comments about the existence of “practical lawmakers”… not necessarily about cash bail.”

    It still didn’t make sense. The actual left wing in this country isn’t extreme compared to any left party in most of the developed world today, and really not very extreme even by our own historical standards. You have a runaway violent theocratic fascist cult on one side, and people who want a bigger safety net and fewer prisoners on the other side. Doing this “both sides” lazy thinking only locks the rightward ratchet into place


  25. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:21 am:

    “I can assure you that people are very upset about crimes occurring after an individual is on some sort of bail status.”

    More unreality. The current system allows you to pay to be released. That’s the current system. The new system allows people charged with burglary to be held.


  26. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    Here is my summary of why I said practical lawmakers are rare:
    It is my belief that the far wings of each party are becoming more mainstream as they defeat “centrist” politicians in primaries, forcing voters in general elections to choose between two widely different candidates. IMO, this leads to a widening chasm and bitter animosity which we are now seeing played out on most stages…including, most recently, the US Supreme Court.
    From someone whose political idol is Paul Simon — respected by members of both parties — this is a sad course America is on.


  27. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    Darren Bailey should bring his grandchildren to the city. Here’s a suggested itinerary.
    Day 1 — Lincoln Park Zoo and the Conservatory.
    Day 2 — Navy Pier and the Chicago Children’s Museum where hands-on activities are available for children of all ages. After that, a ride on one of Lake Michigan charters moored at the pier.
    Day 3 — a day at North Avenue or Oak Steet beach.

    Bailey and his family will be fine. Participated in all the above with family many times. No car necessary as the CTA busses are available. The kids enjoy the articulated busses going around the corners.

    There is much to experience in the city of Chicago than the grim picture Bailey’s words paint.


  28. - don the legend - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    ==Bailey’s sole defense of his Chicago “hellhole” comment just ain’t true==

    The first of thousands between now and election day.


  29. - Ronson - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    I’ll bite at the question asking for examples of local extremism on the left, particularly when it comes to crime. Reformers who promote prison abolition are the most obvious example; less obvious are cash bail proponents who will not consider any stats on reoffenders in places like Cook County due to often-lenient judges. These are the judges we are counting on next year to determine if a person is a danger or not.

    It is unclear how much better or worse the criminal justice law will make the situation, but it has been problematic enough that its own sponsors have been considering changes to it:

    https://cwbchicago.com/2022/01/with-crime-concerns-high-lot-of-changes-are-needed-in-states-year-old-criminal-justice-reform-law-senator-says.html

    Instead of the “how dare you question judges and cash bail!” outrage from some on this comment thread (as well as “at least we aren’t the Jan. 6 party, they’re way more extreme” argument), how about some stats on reoffenders in Cook County the past few years to show worried, annoying moderates like me that we are misguided?


  30. - JoanP - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:52 am:

    Even if it were accurate, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.


  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    ===that its own sponsors have been considering changes===

    Feigenholtz was not a sponsor, or a co-sponsor https://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3653&GAID=15&GA=101&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=120371&SessionID=108


  32. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    “Reformers who promote prison abolition”

    Again, which elected democrat is calling for “prison abolition?” Name one.


  33. - SWIL_Votet - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 12:28 pm:

    Again, who are you talking about Ronson? And what makes it extreme. The US is the extreme outlier in the history of the world. The Democratic Party has been feverishly shoveling ever more money to the police in an already extreme outlier country. The examples you guys keep citing, again, have nothing to do with the new law. People being released on bail and cops not solving crimes are a feature of the current system. Releasing somebody on a burglary charge is a feature of the current system. Like you want me to show you stats when it seems clear you don’t even know what you’re asking for. Reformers are the ones who are questioning cash bail. You seem to be blaming reformers for the cash bail system when that’s the current system we’d like to see done away with.


  34. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    =Lots of problems but to say that eliminating it (in most cases) as will happen in IL on Jan 1st will result in safer communities is dubious at best.=

    This simply is not true. Cash bail will be eliminated for non-violent offenses, but the judge has the discretion to impose bail. Violent offenders bail process will not change.

    At least try to be honest.


  35. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    “how about some stats on reoffenders in Cook County the past few years to show worried, annoying moderates like me that we are misguided?”

    Ok.

    In Cook County, a judge must first decide if an individual should be detained or released.

    If the judge decides an individual should be released, there is a presumption that they would be released without having to pay cash bail. If cash bail is deemed necessary, the bail amount is to be set in line with what the defendant could reasonably afford.

    A study conducted by Loyola University Chicago (link below) accessed jail and court data to establish even follow-up periods and by controlling for a host of individual and case level variables before creating two matched pre- and post-reform comparison groups.

    This analysis found that bail reform was associated with a small, statistically significant increase in the odds of an individual being released pretrial, with an estimated 500 additional people released following reforms. Even so, it found no statistically significant difference in the odds of a released individual being charged with a new misdemeanor or felony offense or violent crime pre- or post-reform.

    tl;dr- Bail reform 1) has not resulted in an increase in crime, and 2) ensures that poor people who can’t afford bail and who are presumed innocent under the law can be free as they await their trial.

    – MrJM

    https://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Report-Dollars-and-Sense-in-Cook-County.pdf


  36. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 2:03 pm:

    Spoiler: The comment above is mine.

    – MrJM


  37. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 3:00 pm:

    I totally quit listening to people from the supposed party of law and order on Jan 6 2021. I quit voting for them after 2016.


  38. - charles in charge - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 3:32 pm:

    ==topic big.==

    Is this supposed to be a sentence, or mean something?


  39. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Thursday, Jun 30, 22 @ 4:25 pm:

    Ronson misses a few points.
    It is not a good idea for a candidate for Governor to continually bash a city that has that many voters.
    Him calling it a hellhole might play well to his base that now praises him like he is a Mini Trump but it wont get him needed votes in Chicago.

    And the sicko who set the homeless man on fire was out on cash bail.
    So he is either being dishonest or does not know what he is talking about.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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