Criminal Justice

Will Marsy’s Law founder’s legal troubles harm the Wisconsin referendum?

BY: and - August 2, 2019

Wisconsin is eight months away from an April 2020 statewide referendum asking if voters want to amend the state constitution to include Marsy’s Law, a crime victim rights bill. In May, the state Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly voted to send Marsy’s Law to the ballot on a bipartisan vote. Marsy’s Law for All is a […]

Wisconsin: First to kill the death penalty

BY: - August 1, 2019

Attorney General William Barr announced last week that the federal government will begin executing prisoners in December after a 16-year hiatus. President Donald Trump, a longtime supporter of capital punishment, has called for its expansion to punish certain drug crimes and his Supreme Court appointments have moved the court to the right on this issue.  […]

Justice Abrahamson’s last day at work

BY: - July 31, 2019

Today is the last day on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for Justice Shirley Abrahamson, the longest-serving justice in state history and a pathbreaker who opened the way for women in the legal profession. At a farewell ceremony on June 18, former Gov. Jim Doyle remembered when his father first hired Justice Abrahamson, the former chief […]

Sen. Darling blames Milwaukee

BY: - July 29, 2019

While Republicans organized in the legislature to make cuts to Milwaukee’s share of the state budget, Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) focused on child welfare. Darling stated during a Joint Finance Committee hearing that improving child care in Milwaukee “can’t happen at the state level.”  “We need to get the community to care about these […]

Milwaukee downtown bus

Legislators urge new approach to Milwaukee after bruising budget fight

BY: - July 26, 2019

The budget battle is over, but Milwaukee representatives are still struggling with the repercussions of a fight in which Republicans made a point of cutting state money flowing into Milwaukee. “It’s not a new battle,” says Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), “and it’s not uncommon.” Goyke told the Wisconsin Examiner he felt that Milwaukee was a […]

New bills ‘unlock the vote,’ end ‘prison gerrymandering’

BY: - July 25, 2019

Two bills introduced by three state legislators Wednesday aim to restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated Wisconsinites and end “prison gerrymandering.” Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) Rep. Jodi Emerson, (D-Eau Claire) and Rep. David Crowley  (D-Milwaukee), joined activists for ex-prisoners’ rights to announce their “Unlock The Vote” campaign. “Our democracy is based on the fundamental principle […]

Lincoln Hills detention facility

‘Restorative justice,’ not new youth detention facilities needed, advocates say

BY: - July 17, 2019

Plans to close the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth detention facilities in Irma, have quickly evolved since Gov. Tony Evers took office, but the process hasn’t been without controversy. Many are questioning why the state is paying millions to sustain what Sharlen Moore, co-founder of Urban Underground, calls “failed mechanisms.” Moore urges a conversation […]

Milwaukee’s high homicide rates rooted in segregation

BY: - July 16, 2019

A recent report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel draws an explicit link between the city’s homicide rates and its historic segregation. It’s part of a larger pattern that criminologists have been aware of for years, a leading Wisconsin criminologist tells the Wisconsin Examiner — and one that demands a deeper conversation over social structure that […]