Jail news conference Sept. 23

The Rockford Ministers Fellowship and CHRIST Inc. will hold a news conference at 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 23 concerning the Winnebago County jail referendum. Speakers Rev. Perry Bennett and Amb. Jesus Barbary will make their presentation at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1720 Morgan St.

The groups will state their case that Rule 20, adopted in December 2000 in the 17th Judicial Circuit, guts the judicial system of its due process, which allows authorities to “unduly detain people and hold them in jail.”

Rule 20, “Dismissal of Charges Upon the Filing of a New Charging Document (Criminal)” states: “Upon the filing of an indictment, superceding indictment or information, any previous indictments, complaints or information reflected by charges on the new indictment, new superceding indictment, or new information are dismissed unless otherwise ordered by the judge to which the case is assigned.”

The groups believe that Winnebago County taxpayers were deceived into voting for the tax referendum for the new Winnebago County jail based on the premise that the jail was overcrowded. They believe this overcrowding was caused by judicial and political corruption, and the adoption of Rule 20, which resulted in the denial of preliminary hearings, stockpiling of inmates, and the passing of the tax referendum.

The public is urged to attend this meeting.

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