As a former law enforcement officer and a crime victim myself, I know, first-hand, the struggles that crime victims often face. We must remember that a victim of crime has no choice in the matter, and that the scales of justice are often tilted against them. It is too easy for victims to be re-victimized by either their criminal or the justice process itself. That’s why I’m fighting for two critical reforms to help crime victims.
The first is Marsy’s Law, a new crime victim bill of rights for Wisconsin. Crime victims should have a voice in the criminal justice process. They should have the right to be heard, to be consulted, and to be present during the proceeding. They should be free from the fear of revictimization from their criminal. They shouldn’t be subject to invasive fishing expeditions or harassment. Under current law, every time a victim makes a claim of rights, the criminal’s rights will triumph. This is unacceptable. Marsy’s Law will help level the legal playing field while still preserving a fair justice system.
I am fighting to expand the evaluation of criminals when granting bail. Under current law, a judge must set bail at the lowest level necessary to ensure a defendant return to trial. That low bar doesn’t adequately protect the victim, or prevent the creation of new victims while the criminal is out on bail. We need to expand bail criteria to include factors like severity of the crime and criminal history. Judges need the full picture when deciding bail amount, not just a single data point.