Voces filed an open records request for immigration detainer forms (aka I-247 forms) for persons held at the Milwaukee County Jail. It wanted to confirm that Sheriff Clarke was following federal law governing the deportation of immigrants. See Journal Sentinel story. When Clarke provided only redacted forms, Voces sued for full disclosure and won at the circuit court and the court of appeals. SCOW now reverses in a decision the dissent calls a loss for the people of Wisconsin and their longstanding commitment to open government. Read more
On June 30, 2013, Wisconsin enacted its biennial budget bill. Among its provisions were changes to the DNA surcharge applied to criminal convictions in Wisconsin. The $250 surcharge became mandatory rather than discretionary for all felonies (rather than just a few as previously), and would now be applied on a per-count basis rather than once per case. The bill also created a new, mandatory $200-per-count surcharge for misdemeanors. Read more
Ricky Anderson pled to a sexual assault by telephone from prison, with his attorney, the prosecutor and the judge all in the courtroom. The court of appeals concludes the court did not do enough to establish either that Anderson knowingly waived his statutory right to be physically present or that the telephone connection was adequate to allow his meaningful participation in the hearing.
In case you have not heard, the ACLU has filed Collins v. City of Milwaukee, a class action lawsuit alleging that the Milwaukee Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program uses racial profiling. Click here to read the complaint. According the ACLU’s press release:
In 2011, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that Milwaukee police were seven times more likely to stop Black drivers than white drivers, and five times more likely to stop Hispanic drivers than white drivers. According to the ACLU’s preliminary analysis of records from a Milwaukee police database on stops, Black (non-Hispanic) people were the targets of 72% of stops from 2010 through 2012 when they made up 34% of the city’s population . . .
Collins v. Milwaukee seeks an end to the Milwaukee Police Department’s practice of conducting stops and frisks without reasonable suspicion, as well as its practice of stopping people based on their race or ethnicity. It also seeks reforms that safeguard constitutional rights by promoting bias-free and evidence-based policing, transparency, and police accountability. These reforms include improved training, supervision, and monitoring of officers who conduct stops and frisks, and the collection and semiannual release to the public of data on all stops and frisks to permit further analysis for evidence of constitutional violations.
An officer trained in visually estimating speed observed a car driven by Gibson going what he estimated to be 25 m.p.h. in a 15 m.p.h. speed zone. He trained a radar unit on the car, and that said the car was going 26 m.p.h. The officer stopped the car, and Gibson was ultimately arrested for OWI. It turns out the radar unit hadn’t been calibrated since the early years of the internet—1994. (¶¶3-5). No matter, says the court of appeals. The officer still had reasonable suspicion for the stop. Read more
T.T.H., aged 16, challenged a circuit court decision waiving his case into adult court on the grounds that: (1) the record did not show that the circuit court gave “paramount consideration” to the juvenile’s best interests, and (2) the circuit court failed to give sufficient consideration to T.T.H.’s suitability for the Serious Juvenile Offender program. Both challenges failed. Read more
D.T. sought to withdraw her stipulation that the court had grounds to terminate her parental rights. She said the court made conflicting statements during its colloquy with her, such as “it’s never too late to meet the conditions of return.” The court of appeals noted that the circuit court later clarified this remark by stressing that the focus of the subsequent dispositional hearing would be on the child’s best interests. Read more