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Rep. Duchow introduces constitutional amendment for bail reform following Waukesha tragedy

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Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 16:08:26-05

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin lawmaker has introduced a joint resolution to amend the state's constitution and reform the legal procedure for how judges apply bail to individuals with criminal histories.

Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield)'s resolution provides an amendment to the state constitution that removes restrictions to judges when determining the bail amount or if an individual can be denied bail by including the consideration of the safety of the community, seriousness of offense, and previous record to reflect the needs of the present, according to a news release.

“Wisconsin continues to see examples of people with extensive criminal histories committing crimes while out on bail,” said Rep. Duchow. “Most recently was the tragic and horrific attack on the Waukesha Christmas Parade by an individual with a long history of violent crimes.”

Under current law, according to a news release, the Wisconsin Constitution provides that all persons are eligible for release prior to conviction to assure the person's appearance in court, protect members of the community from serious bodily harm, or prevent the intimidation of witnesses.

“Allowing judges to consider of the safety of the community, seriousness of offense, and previous record of the offender provides another tool to protect both victims and the community while the judicial process plays out.” said Rep. Duchow.

This is the third session that Rep. Duchow has introduced this bail reform legislation, officials say. Senator Van Wanggard (R-Racine) will be authoring the joint resolution in the senate.

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