By Senator James Seward
Hold it Judge Judy – not so fast on the bail for that guy! Let’s be more careful when deciding who should get bail.
Too many violent crimes have been perpetrated by criminals out on bail. Our paramount concern when crafting laws and policies should be to safeguard the innocent. With this in mind, there is no good reason why we shouldn’t allow courts to consider a host of relevant factors – such as a defendant’s criminal background and whether or not he posee a threat to an alleged victim – when setting bail. This is common sense and that’s why the state senate has passed legislation to give courts more discretion.
Here’s the sad tale. Jeff Cahill viciously attacked his wife Jill with a baseball bat, striking her more then seven times and nearly killing her because Jill was divorcing him. While out on bail for this attack, Jill had requested and been granted an order of protection against Cahill which required him to stay away from Jill and their children.
Shortly after his release, Cahill began to research ways to poison his wife and eventually was able to secure some potassium cyanide by posing as an employee at a local company. A week before he would murder his wife, Cahill was caught posing as hospital staff in Jill’s room. A week later, Cahill returned dressed as a janitor and poisoned and killed his wife. If the courts that had set bail for Cahill after the baseball bat attack had been able to consider the brutal nature of his attack, the resulting injuries, and Jill’s safety against future acts of violence, Jill might be alive today.