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What role has bail reform really played in Chicago’s escalating levels of violence?

Bail reform was needed. But an over-correction may result in a very bloody summer.

Chicago Police investigate a shooting this week on West Evergreen Avenue.
Sun-Times Media

More than 50 people were shot in Chicago this past weekend. Some died. Depending upon the weather, another 40 to 50 people likely will be shot and/or killed next weekend. But Chicagoans have become so desensitized to these large numbers that it almost seems like “the same old news.”

The hard, cold question: Is bail reform, in which no cash bond required for release from jail and instead there is an increased use of ankle monitoring, a factor in the increase in violence? Would a review of the numbers show that the increase in shootings can be attributed to this reform? Are people arrested for violent crimes able to “hit the streets” sooner, get another gun and shoot someone they would not have been able to shoot had a cash bail been required?

Certainly, bail reform was needed. But an over-correction may result in a very bloody summer.

Terry Takash, Bridgeport

How to ward off COVID-19 variant

If the Delta variant of Covid-19 had come along two years ago as a separate epidemic, we would be panicking. It is widespread in the United States, and several hot spots, such as southwest Missouri, are almost next door to us. The virus variant is sweeping through Britain, and it has devastated India. The British experience suggests that even if 80% of a population has received their first vaccination shot, nowhere near crowd immunity is achieved.

On the other hand, the person who gets the first shot at least seems likely to stay out of the hospital. And full vaccination seems to confer immunity to the Delta variant. However uncertain it is that getting the shot will help your neighbor, it will help you.

Frank Palmer, Edgewater

DuSable came and went

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable was certainly a successful businessman who welcomed Native Americans as well as French fur traders to the trading post he established on the future site of Chicago in the l780s. He also built an impressive home for his family.

DuSable’s commitment to what would become the greatest metropolis of the American Midwest ended quickly, however, when he abandoned the area. As early as 1800, he and his family moved to what was still a French territory near St. Charles, Missouri. He died there in 1818.

That means DuSable did not live here long enough to see Fort Dearborn built or to see the settlement he started become a city of around 4,000 residents by 1837. DuSable deserves — and already has been given — appropriate recognition.

J. L. Stern, Highland Park