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Wisconsin Republicans present legislation to set minimum bail amounts for repeat offenders

Christmas Parade SUV
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 19:01:48-05

MADISON, Wisc. — Two Wisconsin Republicans unveiled legislation that would set minimum bail amounts for criminals who have already been convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor on Wednesday.

State Senator Julian Bradley (R-Franklin) and State Representative Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) said the bill package is being released following the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy.

This also follows criticism after Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's office recommended $1,000 bail for Darrell Brooks before he allegedly drove his vehicle through the Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring more.

"Community safety has to be a factor as our state considers the flight risk of criminals," Senator Bradley said. "Wisconsin lives are in danger because of the low bail that soft-on-crime judges and DAs are currently setting. This revolving door for criminals must end. We must bring accountability and transparency to the court system to ensure serial criminals don't continually have the opportunities to put our communities and families in harm's way."

According to a news release, these are the three bills in the package:

  • One fixes judges' lax bond policies by requiring a minimum bond of at least $10,000 for defendants who have previously committed a felony or violent misdemeanor.
  • The second bans a court from setting an unsecured bond or releasing without bail someone previously convicted of bail jumping. The defendant can only be released if they execute a secured bond or deposit cash in an amount of at least $5,000.
  • The third adds transparency to the pretrial release process by creating a bond transparency report. The Department of Justice must publish a report documenting every crime charged, the conditions of release, who the presiding judge was, and the name of the prosecuting attorney assigned to the case.

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