There are many different policies that can be present at a law enforcement agency. Among these are policies on the use of force. A pair of proposals expected to soon be brought before Wisconsin lawmakers aims to add some state standards when it comes to such policies at police departments in the state.
Being accused of a crime can have all kinds of impacts on a person. Criminal charges and the possibility of facing major criminal punishments are not the only potentially life-changing things such allegations can expose a person to here in Wisconsin. For one, they also could potentially expose one to civil asset forfeiture.
America has suffered racial divides at nearly every level of society for hundreds of years. From education to jobs to the right to vote, equality has been difficult to achieve for a nation that prides itself on Democracy and fairness. Perhaps that most glaring problems have occurred in the criminal justice system, where African-Americans are consistently handed down harsher sentences than their white counterparts for the same offenses.
A recent New York Times editorial notes that Americans are increasingly speaking out against the death penalty. In the article, the editorial board makes one of the keenest observations about the why the death penalty may be headed for the dustbin.
Media coverage of police over the last few years has not been complimentary. Stories about excessive force and racial bias have strained relationships between police and the communities they serve.
In 2014, the town of Waukesha, Wisconsin was rocked by the attempted homicide of a young girl by two of her classmates. The 12-year-old girls who allegedly stabbed their friend multiple times claimed they did so in order to please a mythical, evil character they believed was real. Both were charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the so-called Slender Man case.
Among the 68 inmates in Wisconsin prisons for crimes they committed as juveniles sits a 33-year-old Milwaukee woman convicted of first-degree intentional homicide. She was only 13 years old -- and pregnant -- when she stood by and watched her boyfriend commit murder.
In a 2013 article for The New York Review of Books, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff writes that "of the 2.2 million Americans in prison, over 2 million are there because of plea bargains." He also contends that somewhere between 2 and 8 percent of those people are innocent but pled guilty. You may wonder why an innocent person would plead guilty, but in reality, it happens all the time.