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Wisconsin on brink of constitutional crisis as courts face unprecedented DA, public defender shortage

Editors Note: Our Managing Editor, Steve Schuster spoke to Judges, the Office of Lawyer Regulation, Federal Prosecutors, District Attorneys throughout the Midwest, the State Bar of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Attorney General, Governor Tony's Evers office, as well as legislatures to determine the full extent of the problem and possible solutions on how to fix Wisconsin's broken criminal justice system.

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Wisconsin Assembly set to vote on parole commission bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s parole commission would be forced to meet in public and post its decisions online under a Republican-authored bill the state Assembly is set to take up Wednesday. Republicans have heaped criticism on the commission after it decided to parole convicted murderer Douglas Balsewicz last May. He had served 25 years of an 80-year sentence for fatally stabbing his wife. ...

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Wisconsin Republicans set to clarify cash bail amendment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is set Wednesday to clarify when a proposed constitutional amendment to make it harder for people to go free on bail before trial would apply. Both chambers of the Legislature are expected to pass a bill specifying which offenses would fall under the proposed amendment that, if approved by a majority of the state’s ...

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Wisconsin Assembly set to vote on tougher riot penalties

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Anyone who encourages a riot or engages in violence during a riot would face felony charges under a bill Wisconsin’s Assembly is poised to take up Wednesday. The Republican-backed measure would make urging, promoting or organizing a riot a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison. Engaging in violence during a ...

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Lawmakers to vote on tougher reckless driving penalties

wisconsin reckless driving

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Penalties for reckless driving would dramatically increase under a pair of Republican-backed bills that Wisconsin lawmakers are set to vote on Wednesday. The bills’ chief authors, Rep. Bob Donovan and Sen. Duey Stroebel, said they introduced the legislation in response to what they say are rising incidents of reckless driving in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Police Association, ...

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Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley commends Judge Carl Ashley on Appointment to Chief Judge of 1st Judicial District

Chief Judge Carl Ashley

By Steve Schuster [email protected] Circuit Court Judge Carl Ashley was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week to serve as the next Chief Judge of Wisconsin’s First Judicial District. Judge Ashley will begin his new role leading the Milwaukee County Circuit Court next month on April 15, according to officials. County Executive David Crowley said, “Congratulations to Judge Carl ...

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Attorney General Kaul Announces Multistate Letter to Kia and Hyundai Makers

Josh Kaul

By Steve Schuster [email protected] Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul joined Milwaukee leaders this afternoon in announcing a coalition of attorney generals who are sending a letter to Kia America (Kia) and Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai) calling on their executives “to take swift and comprehensive action to help remedy the crisis of car thefts that has occurred as a result of ...

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Arrest warrant issued for Russian President Putin

THE HAGUE (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine. It was the first time the global court has issued a warrant against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the ...

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Wisconsin Republican joins out-of-state Republicans to limit food assistance benefits

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman has joined other Republican legislators across the country in an effort to make it more difficult to get food assistance. North Carolina Democrat Rep. Alma Adams says, "No one should ever go hungry in the greatest country in the world." Rep. Gwen Moore joined Adams and other Democrats in effort to make it easier to obtain food assistance.

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Annual Run for Justice set for June 14

The 12th annual Run for Justice will take place at Veteran’s Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14. Proceeds will benefit the Milwaukee Justice Center, which is the civil legal aid self-help center located within the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

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UN: Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine

GENEVA – Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, according to a report from a U.N. backed inquiry released Thursday. The sweeping human rights report, released a year to the day after a Russian airstrike on a theater in Mariupol killed hundreds sheltering inside, ...

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EPA rule limits emissions polluting downwind areas

(AP File Photo) WASHINGTON — A new “good neighbor” rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency will restrict smokestack emissions from power plants and other industrial sources that burden downwind areas with smog-causing pollution they can’t control. Nearly two dozen states will have to cut harmful industrial emissions of nitrogen oxide and other pollutants to improve air quality for millions ...

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Experts: Censorship growing in US

BOISE, Idaho — In Idaho, an art exhibit was censored and teens were told they couldn’t testify in some legislative hearings. In Washington state, a lawmaker proposed a hotline so the government could track offensively biased statements as well as hate crimes. In Florida, bloggers are fighting a bill that would force them to register with the state if they ...

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Wisconsin Republicans float bill to designate state rifle

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers began circulating a bill Thursday that would designate a lever-action rifle produced in northwestern Wisconsin as the state’s official rifle. The bill from state Reps. Dave Armstrong, Treig Pronschinske and James Edming and Sen. Romaine Quinn would designate the Henry All-Weather .45-70 as Wisconsin’s official state rifle. The bill is symbolic only. The state ...

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Wisconsin lawmakers clash over cash bail proposals

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers unveiled plans Thursday to largely eliminate the use of cash bail in Wisconsin, clashing with Republicans who proposed a constitutional amendment to make it harder for people to get out of jail before trial. The Democratic proposal, which almost certainly will not pass the Republican-controlled Legislature, would rely on risk assessments to allow most ...

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