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Stopping the revolving door of criminal justice

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — Another day, another horrible crime in Milwaukee.

The latest: a 26-year-old Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy shot multiple times by a suspect following a traffic stop. The incident follows the shooting of an off-duty Milwaukee police officer following a botched car-jacking.

The teen-aged suspects in the latter case, were the latest to be set free on low bail after being charged with serious crimes. While the names of the suspects involved in Wednesday’s shooting of the deputy were not released as of late Wednesday, it’s probably safe to assume that they, too, have been frequent fliers in Milwaukee County’s revolving door criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee police are looking for the person or people who killed six people “execution-style” in a north side residence.

Gov. Tony Evers has refused to hold accountable Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, whose liberal policies have routinely freed violent offenders on low bail — including the Milwaukee man accused of murdering and maiming scores of people with his SUV in Waukesha’s Christmas parade. And it doesn’t appear the court officials and judges who are responsible for setting bail and conditions will face any consequences for their failures.

Republican lawmakers this week passed several crime bills aimed at addressing what the governor and his soft-on-crime allies around the state have failed to do: protect the public from violent offenders. The legislation also taps into federal COVID relief funds to help recruit, retain, support, and invest in Wisconsin law enforcement officers.

“Law enforcement officers are facing levels of violence and scrutiny not seen in decades,” said Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna).“Rather than risk not making it home at night, they are leaving the profession all together – making our state less safe.”

Wisconsin saw a 9 percent increase in violent crime in 2021, underscored by a second straight year of record homicides in Milwaukee. The national average was up 5 percent. And targeted police killings also hit a 20 year high recently.

Not surprisingly, law enforcement retirements spiked 45 percent and resignations soared by 18 percent. Wisconsin, meanwhile, has seen its lowest number of law enforcement recruits in more than a decade.

Other legislation would:

— Ensure felons in possession of firearms are prosecuted

— Prevent violent criminals from earning early release from prison or parole

— Force the Department of Corrections to deal with convicts who violate the terms of their probation and parole.

— Add criminal penalties for coordinated “smash and grab” crimes

“From the horrific attack in Waukesha to the near daily news coming out of Milwaukee, far too many communities and families are having their lives upended by criminals who shouldn’t be out on the street,” said state Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth).“If Governor Evers is truly serious about solving the crime problem, he will sign these bills into law.”

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2 thoughts on “Stopping the revolving door of criminal justice

  • The “criminal justice” system should remember that it is supposed to be protecting the citizens of the state, not the criminals.

    Do the crime, do the time.

  • When are we going to start to respect our overworked law enforcement people? The people that set low or no bail for criminals should be held responsible when the criminal commits a crime worse than what they were orginially charged and released.

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