I am writing to express my disappointment with professional sports regarding the decision made by some teams to refuse to compete as a form of protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
These athletes must appreciate the fact that this tragic incident is still under investigation. The entire truth has not been revealed yet. Justice and due process are as important as fighting against racism and police misconduct.
There are many people who are sick or injured and recuperating either at home or in hospitals and look forward to watching great athletes compete, to forget about their condition. Those of us blessed enough to enjoy good health but are worried about catching the coronavirus can use the enjoyment of pro sports to forget about our fears.
It is sad that some of these great athletes do not appreciate this.
I would like to see Major League Baseball levy very steep fines on all of the players of both the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins for going onto the field and then, after a moment of silence to honor the first African American in the major leagues, Jackie Robinson, refuse to play by walking off the field. They disrespected the game as well as the fans.
Antonio Acevedo, West Town
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Defending electronic monitoring
Your recent editorial on electronic monitoring states: “An electronic monitoring system that frees accused murderers from jail while they await trial is fundamentally absurd.” This statement reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the bail system and the role that electronic monitoring plays in that system.
When determining whether an individual will be released prior to trial, rather than being held in jail without bail, a court must make an individual determination and consider factors such as the strength of the proof against the individual and whether that person would pose a threat if released.
If the court determines that the person should not be released, then electronic monitoring is not even considered. The person remains confined until trial unless he or she later persuades the court that pre-trial release is appropriate.
Electronic monitoring is considered as a condition of release only if the court has first determined that release is appropriate.
Once that determination has been made, the court must determine if there is a bond amount that would reasonably assure the defendant’s presence at trial. A bond amount may be secured by the individual’s own recognizance (I-Bond), or by posting either the full amount (C-Bond) or 10% of the bond (D-Bond).
Electronic monitoring may or may not be added as an additional condition of release. Determinations of the conditions of release are made on an individual basis with the goal of assuring the defendant’s presence at trial.
Thus, there is no basis for blaming electronic monitoring for accused murderers being released while they await trial. The determination to release was a separate decision made before the conditions of release were decided. Electronic monitoring is an extra condition of release added to a bond.
In May 2019, Chief Judge Tim Evans of the Circuit Court of Cook County issued a report on the general bail reform procedures that went into effect in September 2017. The report concluded that the increased release of defendants resulting from the reforms did not increase the threat to public safety. In April 2020, a study by the non-profit JFA Institute reaffirmed the validity of Evans’ report.
Contrary to the Sun-Times’ editorial, electronic monitoring neither frees accused murderers nor is it absurd.
William J. Nissen, attorney, Lake Forest