Cash bail constitutional amendment
I have long argued for the need to fix Wisconsin’s broken bail system. Five years ago, I served on a Legislative Council Study Committee that looked at bail, and I am gratified we will finally have a chance to make some needed changes to our Wisconsin Constitution. The law needs to make clear that dangerous people accused of serious crimes need to be locked up—period. Public safety must be paramount in all bail decisions. In particular, judges should be required to consider the dangerousness of the defendant, the severity of a crime, and the criminal history of the defendant, along with having a viable option to hold dangerous defendants without bail.
The proposed constitutional amendment aligns with my long-held views and is a step in the right direction. This change is long overdue.
Unfortunately, for many suffering families, this change will have come too late. Passage of the proposed amendment helps ensure that others might be spared their pain and grief.
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The Eighth Amendment says Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
It says nothing about letting them go free if they are a potential threat to society. A threat to society is a serious situation and society deserves to be protected from the potential that a judge thinks could happen.
It is time that the citizens are protected and should maintain their freedom, and they should not fear harm, from a suspected or known criminal.
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