The Governor’s pattern of decisions surrounding the state’s prison system harms public safety in Illinois, according to State Representative Darren Bailey.
“The latest decision by the Governor to release one of the inmates involved in the murder of Illinois State Trooper Layton Davis is appalling,” said Bailey (R-Xenia). “I was with the Davis family on August 10 when they publicly pleaded with Gov. Pritzker not to release convicted killers James E. Taylor and Aaron Hyche. While only Taylor has been released at this time, I wonder how long before Hyche will be set free?”
Taylor and Hyche were convicted of the murder of Trooper Davis during a traffic stop on Interstate-57, near Effingham on March 18, 1976. They were given life sentences.
“50 year old Trooper Davis lost his life that day protecting the people of Illinois, and his wife and three children were left without a husband and father. Taylor and Hyche were given sentences commensurate with their heinous act. They should complete those sentences in full. The Davis family isn’t getting a reprieve from their life-long pain and loss.”
Rep. Bailey also takes issue with the Governor for other decisions involving prison inmates.
According to a recent WAND-TV report, Pritzker has okayed the release of more than 4,000 inmates since March 1. Twenty inmates had their sentences commuted, including those convicted of murder. Others among the 4,000-plus included inmates convicted of armed robbery and sexual assault, according to another report in the Alton Telegraph from April 17 of this year.
In February of this year, Pritzker was criticized by the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association for a directive from the Governor ordering sheriffs not to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when illegal immigrants completed their felony prison sentences and were being released. The sheriffs said the policy made their communities more dangerous.
“Sadly, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has had their hands full, not just trying to protect the people whose safety is their primary responsibility, but also because they’ve had to battle the Governor on policies that harm public safety,” said Bailey. “Pritzker is also being sued by the Sheriffs’ Association because of the state’s failure to take custody of inmates, currently in local jails, but who received state prison sentences. While an Appellate Court recently ruled Pritzker has the authority to set policy regarding inmate transfers, the lack of cooperation and consideration for the safety of local communities is unacceptable.”