Connect with us

As I See It

Change bail rules to give judges more discretion



We have heard it often. Our judges are soft on crime. That sentiment is behind an effort to change the Wisconsin Constitution to change how bail is issued for those placed under arrest. Under current law, judges in La Crosse and elsewhere can only issue bail as a way to ensure that a person returns for their next court date. Under the proposal, that will likely go to voters in a referendum, judges would be also be able to take into account the defendant’s criminal record, and the likelihood they would offend again. That makes sense. The more of a danger they are, the higher the bail could be. That could help shut the revolving door of criminals being released to the streets after a crime, only to offend again. The effort has gained momentum since that parade tragedy in Waukesha, where the man found guilty of killing six people had been released on a low cash bail just days earlier. The effort to  put the issue on the ballot passed the Legislature easily last year, and will likely do so again in coming days. That clears the way for a constitutional amendment to go before voters in the April election. We have seen too often judges criticized for being soft on crime, when in reality their hands are tied by the Constitution.  Changing the Constitution would give judges more discretion in trying to keep the community safe.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lucenut

    January 24, 2023 at 6:52 am

    You are retarded fella! Bail is NOT punishment. It’s merely to ensure the defendant shows up for trial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *