The definition of insanity
How many times can you blow bail and still get a free pass? Six times, judging by the case of Andre Miller.
Miller is the 21-year-old hard case who was arrested for dealing crack cocaine and heroin and for car jacking. Stole very nice cars. Accused of carrying a 9 mm. handgun with an extended magazine, illegally modified to be sweep the streets with one squeeze of the trigger.
Police chiefs usually hold their tongues. (Well, not Mike Koval!) But the WI State Journal captured the frustration of Town of Madison Police Chief Scott Gregory: “Signature bonds apparently do nothing to endure the defendant follows the court’s orders. It is my hope a large cash bail is set for Miller to protect our community.”
Because Andre M. Miller Jr. blew bail six (6) times. We get the concept of a second chance — but SIX times? !!!!!!
Progressivism victimizes the innocent
We would need to do a massive deep dive into court records but it does seem that many serial offenders are serial offenders because they get out on signature bond, rack up more victims, and don’t come back without still more police work.
Katoine Richardson, the guy accused of causing a police officer to be wounded by gunfire on State Street 10-10-21, is accused of jumping bail three times. (Read & weep.)
We might need fewer police if our judiciary were not practicing Woke progressivism. They have subverted criminal justice in favor of “social justice” and “equity.” Our judges and prosecutors have bought into the BLM/Progressive Dane/Freedom Inc. agenda: Empty the jails and put the troublemakers back onto our streets.
Who are these judges, anyway?
Dane County WI has 17 circuit court judges; they are elected in the non-partisan Spring (April 5) elections to six-year terms. Job pays $130,00 annually. (Another 11 court commissioners set initial bail at arraignment court. They are appointed.)
They are largely faceless; they rarely face opposition on the ballot. Not since 2013 has a judgeship been contested. For that reason, they rarely need to campaign, respond to questionnaires, sit for an endorsement interview, debate an opponent.
Five judgeships are on the ballot in the next election on 5 April 2022. Those benches are occupied by Valerie L. Bailey-Rihn, Nicholas McNamara, John Hyland, Stephen Ehlke — and Everett Mitchell. Mitchell is, by reputation, at least, the king of catch and release. Consider this case as Exhibit A:
Derailing the jail
One defendant at a time. A fellow by name of Sir Emarion M. Tucker this week pled guilty to raping a woman in her southwest side home on 1 September 2018. He also pled out to two unrelated burglary charges committed while he was free on bail. In March 2020, Judge Mitchell agreed to reduce Tucker’s $30,000 bail to $2,000. Tucker was back on the streets.
Two months later, he robbed a woman on Radcliffe Drive on the far west side, struck her in the head and demanded sex. (More here.) Two months after that (July 2020), Tucker robbed and punched a 77-year-old woman and also attempted to steal her car in a parking lot on Cottage Grove Road. A raft of charges were dismissed to get Tucker’s plea. Those include aggravated battery, armed robbery, armed burglary, attempted sexual assault, battery, and child pornography. Two felony bail jumping charges were also dismissed.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Dane County elected a social justice warrior as a judge! Reader “Liberty” reminds us that the Democrat(ic) establishment that endorsed Mitchell — plus Progressive Dane. “Following the police shooting of Tony Robinson, an unarmed, black, 19-year-old, Mitchell led prayers at protests and pushed for review of police use of force policies and arrest rate disparities.”
Can Dane County find judges and a District Attorney that enforce the laws, I think not. Until the violence ends up on the WOKE front door nothing will happen.
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It’s hard enough for a police person to do his/her/their job, but it’s even harder when after he takes care to dot every i , cross every t, and jot every tittle only to have the perp walk due the Lefty largesse and Lefty privilege of some social justice judge.
That’s NOT adjudicating justice, … that’s avoiding justice and enabling crime.
C’mon, judgeman, … it’s time to harsh the criminal’s mellow.
We, the People demand that you strictly enforce the law.
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It’s the police who should be more vocal on these issues!
How often do you hear anything from the Madison police union or WPPA about catch and release? From police command? Think Barnes will ever speak out against judges like this?
Heck, we got some Madison cops to kneel last summer. Would be nice if they showed concern for actual crime victims.
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My God! Can you imagine being raped or brutalized or knowing that your beloved was murdered by some POS, then watch as the judge is lenient with that same thug? You’d have to be a ghoul or have warped morals to think showing leniency to someone like that is the right thing to do.
Dane County is not salvageable. Nobody sane is going to put themselves through a campaign in this environment.
I’m just going to come out and say it. I think there’s something very wrong with leftists. I’m not sure if their issues are psychological or moral, but there is something off in my opinion. I just want to move and get far away from them and their craziness, and I think arguing or debating with people like this is pointless.
Look who endorsed Mitchell. Enablers who endorse someone who they have got to know is going to unleash violent criminals on an unsuspecting public, are also reprehensible, in my view. I have no respect for any of these people.
“Among elected officials, his supporters include former Gov. Jim Doyle, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, seven state representatives, 14 Dane County supervisors and 14 Madison City Council members.
“From the law enforcement community, Mitchell has the support of former Madison police chiefs David Couper and Noble Wray, two Madison police officers, UW-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling and Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke”
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Thanks, Liberty. Heartfelt and common-sensical statement. Crime isn’t related to racism, it’s related to who commits the crimes, and the sentences passed down. The court system is unfathomable in terms of not only punishment, but community safety…
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Judge people by the content of their character. It’s a great way to live, but unfortunately woke racists have subverted this. Shame on them.
Why are Sheriff MaHoney and the other coppers supporting a revolving door judge?
That does not make sense.
Forget it Jake, this is Chinatown.
Law enforcement officers endorsing candidates who subvert the criminal justice system are not real police. They’re politicians.
Mahoney was nice enough, but in my mind, he was always looking out for his job, first and foremost.
How sickening it was too watch him and other SJW cops kneel last year. Pathetic actually.
Mahoney endorsed a Cops Out of School candidate for school board named Ali Muldrow. She is now president of the Madison school board and made good on her campaign pledge.
Mahoney endorsed ANYONE with a D after their names. I respect the fact that he was a police officer, but that’s about it.
I understand some will see this as heretical, but it’s really not the fault of the judges. It’s the fault of the law. I encourage everyone to read Ch. 969.01(4) of the Wisconsin statutes. You’ll see there that cash bail is to be set at an amount to assure the appearance of the defendant in subsequent court proceedings. To put it another way, considerations of public safety have nothing AT ALL to do with the amount of cash bail set. It is the non-monetary conditions of bail that are supposed to address concerns pertaining to public safety or witness intimidation. The statue also holds that the amount of cash bail set should be “reasonable,” meaning that it should be set at an amount that the defendant could reasonably be expected to come up with. Any judge who goes on the record stating that they are setting a high cash bail based upon the severity of the charges or the concern that the defendant poses a risk to public safety would be violating the law. Now, if any of these repeat offenders who keep getting signature bonds or low cash bail also have a demonstrable record of repeatedly not showing up for scheduled court dates, then (and only then) would we have a beef with the judge about the amount of cash bail set.
I think most of us already know that bail is issued to ensure the appearance of the suspect. You’re telling us nothing new.
What we’re disgusted by is the catch and release justice system where cops arrest suspects only for them to be released, then are free to reoffend and reoffend and reoffend.
From the statute you just referenced:
“Conditions of release, other than monetary conditions, may be imposed for the purpose of protecting members of the community from serious bodily harm or preventing intimidation of witnesses.”
Questions for you:
What conditions of release are leftist judges imposing exactly? Why is it that leftist judges seem to be the only ones issuing low bail and DAs in leftist jurisdictions seeming to be the only ones dropping charges and suggesting low bail amounts for serious crimes?
Catch and release is happening in primarily happening in LIBERAL cities. This is not an accident or by chance.
Judges also have the power to exercise something called COMMON SENSE. When someone commits a random act of violence and shows little or no remorse, doesn’t have a permanent address, has a past record, changes are they care diddly about making a court appearance.
I’s one thing to set “reasonable” bail. Where’s the law that says bail has to be so low that it’s seen as a joke?
Question: Have you ever heard Mitchell give a talk? I have. I’ve heard him explain how when in court, he has apologized not only to the victims, but also to the PERPETRATORS. Can you imagine being the victim of a violent crime and having to listen to that, or having to watch as the judge (another true story) weeps for the perpetrator?
Great questions! First of all, I’m not sure that most people know the law about financial vs. non-financial conditions of bail. Most people I talk to about it are surprised to learn it. But this is certainly an educated group here. As to your questions– our leftist judges rarely impose monetary/non-monetary conditions of bail. That thankless task generally falls to Court Commissioners at the defendant’s initial appearance. The defendant rarely has an attorney at that early stage of their journey, although I think the Public Defender has some attorney or another there to provide nominal representation. If a high cash bail is set by the commissioner and a defendant can’t make that bail, their attorney (and they’ll likely have one by this point) will eventually ask for a bail hearing in front of a judge. Then the judge can modify the bail (or not). It would be an interesting study to see how often judges override the initial decisions of the commissioners. As far as the notion that low/no cash bails are only being meted out in liberal cities, are you sure about that? Have you really examined what the judges in Polk or Forest or Crawford county are doing? We might be surprised. As far as non-monetary conditions of release, it’s what you would expect. The defendant is ordered not to contact so-and-so, or go to such-and-such a place, or to use drugs or to possess a gun. Does the defendant comply? Who knows, unless they’re caught in violation (then they get that ubiquitous bail jumping charge). At least we have Pretrial Services here, which can do some active monitoring of these non-financial conditions. The Polks and Crawfords don’t have that.
Can you clarify what you mean by “catch-and-release?” Are you talking about people who have a pending charge, get a signature bond, go back on the street, re-offend, accrue more pending charges, go back to court, get another signature bond, rinse, repeat? Again, the operative question has to be– throughout their whole odyssey of being in and out of court, accruing more and more pending charges– ARE THEY MISSING COURT DATES? If not, they get low to no cash bail. It’s, unfortunately, the law, as you know.
And, no, I’ve never had the (dubious) pleasure of seeing Judge Mitchell speak.
Are you a lawyer or just a hobbyist?
You’re almost making it sound as if judges have little culpability in the process. Judges have the power to change bail assigned by court commissioners, correct? Court commissioners are also assigned by lead judges, so it would be reasonable to assume that their methodology is similar to that of those who hired them.
The frustrations you often hear from law enforcement professionals are directed at prosecutors and judges, NOT court commissioners. I’d recommend speaking to police officers who work in Madison and other liberal cities so they could explain how frustrating it is for them catch violent suspects only for them to be released and re-released on low bail. (Yes, this is what I mean by catch and release.)
A judge is required to set a “reasonable” bail. How reasonable is a $2,000 bail? Will this amount really incentivize someone who’s charged with a serious felony to show up in court?
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It’s no secret that leftists want to eliminate cash bail altogether. Illinois has already succeeded. New York state originally tried for a similar law, but settled for one that eliminated bail for “low level” offenses, many of which were not actually lower level. After receiving pushback, legislators fortunately made changes to the bill so that at least some of these “lower level” offenses can be assigned bail.
How have these laws worked for Chicago and New York City? Crime is skyrocketing primarily in LIBERAL CITIES, and while low/no bail is not the only reason for the spike, it certainly is a key factor.
Chuck, do you know what some of the non-monetary conditions are?
Excerpting from my TL;DR response to Liberty: As far as non-monetary conditions of release, it’s what you would expect. The defendant is ordered not to contact so-and-so, or go to such-and-such a place, or to use drugs or to possess a gun. Does the defendant comply? Who knows, unless they’re caught in violation (then they get that ubiquitous bail jumping charge). At least we have Pretrial Services here, which can do some active monitoring of these non-financial conditions.
Gave three examples of bail. How many assured their appearance?
It’s largely aspirational, Dave. I have to think you know as well as I the theory is that if the defendant (or the defendant’s beloved Aunt Betty) stands to lose some significant amount of money as a bail forfeiture via a failure to appear, then the defendant will be incentivized to appear. Does it work that way all of the time? Most of the time? I’m not aware of anyone having done a study on it. But the larger issue is that the law holds that cash bails must not be set high because of public safety concerns.
Again, and again, said this many times: how can a neighborhood get stop signs up at a uncontrolled intersection? Wait until the “right” person gets killed. Works every time, well same here, loser has to pick the right one. Like loser who killed prof and husband one winter night while in pjs. He gonna go away for long time…..maybe, been 18 months, what’s the delay? So everyone forgets about it. I won’t.
Wait….. We also have to consider the media in all of this. I just love the way the media tries to spin the bad things that people do and try to make them into less horrible people that they really are. They refuse to call evil, what is evil. They won’t even try to identify the race of the person who committed the crime for what I suppose is the fear on their part that they will be labeled racist for doing so. Just look at this story from today’s Channel 3000. https://www.channel3000.com/armed-robbery-at-mineral-point-kwiktrip-police-looking-for-suspect/
From the story: “He’s described as being in his mid 20’s and being 6’2″. He was seen wearing a gray hoodie, black vest, black pants and shoes and a blue mask.” Great description of the suspect although I might ask: am I looking for a white, black, or brown person?
They make light of the people who beat up our State Senator, Tim Carpenter when the primary suspects got away with little or no punishment. At the same time, they continually harp about those who raise their voices up to protest the crap they are teaching our children at school board meetings. They also deride those who protest the way the last Presidential election was handled here in Madison when among other clear violations of Wisconsin State Law, ballot drop boxes were left in city parks. (Which is another clear violation of Wisconsin State Law.)
When the media stops being the watch dog of the politicians and becomes their lap dogs, when they stop calling the politicians who make the laws out for the crimes they commit, when the commitment to calling out evil, evil no longer exists the thug class gets the idea that they too can get away with evil.
If those in the media, the politicians, community leaders and the clergy refuse to call evil. When we the people stop calling evil, evil for the fear of being labeled racist, homophobic, anti-science, anti-progressive or any other derogatory label; when we the people even have the temerity to question what those in government do, evil will always flourish.
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With all due respect, how often do we need to be exhorted to replace the left-wing loons on the school board, in the mayor’s office, in the DA’s office, in the courts, on the city council, etc., etc.? How often has this actually happened? How likely is it EVER to happen? Face it–voting in Madison is an exercise in futility for anyone who wants to see someone other than a fanatical left-wing ideologue in any elected office.
This just in: latest poll indicates a majority of regular citizens now view “fanatical left-wing Ideologues” as a bigger threat to our species than covid-19.
Back off; I’m just the messenger.
Better Supreme court judges is a first step to take.
DA asked for $50,000 bail.. He got $10,000 and was out a few minutes later. High level drug dealers have, you know, CASH! HOPEFULLY the US Attorney’s office will take the case for the firearm violation as they actually do have some teeth when they use them.