Previously on This Just In…
Supreme Court candidate Jennifer Dorow has been critical of the cash bail system
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Deep-pocketed conservatives dropped millions of dollars on TV ads criticizing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in this year’s U.S. Senate race for his opposition to cash bail for defendants awaiting trial.
So what are those same interests going to do when a conservative candidate expresses her own concerns about the cash bail system?
We’ll soon find out.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow, a conservative candidate for the state Supreme Court, was a member of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Bail & Conditions of Pretrial Release several years ago.
As a member of that panel, Dorow, who graduated from an evangelical Christian law school and is married to a former President Donald Trump appointee, expressed concerns about cash bail.
Under the current system, judges direct defendants to pay a certain amount of money, or bail, to be released from jail. Bail is intended as a financial incentive for a defendant to show up for trial or future hearings. The system has come under criticism, especially among liberals, because it often means that wealthier defendants get released while poor defendants are forced to sit in jail because they cannot afford to post bail.
Dorow told the members of the legislative study committee that the state’s current system is coming up short.
On Dec. 11, 2018, the Waukesha County judge said there is “a huge body of evidence” about whether cash bail is keeping communities safe. “There is a lot (of evidence) that says it doesn’t,” she said, though she added that there might be “a time and a place for it” until the state goes to another system.
Nearly two months later, she was more expansive.
“We don’t have a workable preventative detention, and more importantly, cash bail is not a best practice any more,” Dorow said on Jan. 29, 2019. “And so if we are going to change anything, we should be looking at a system that eliminates cash bail with a robust preventative detention coupled with statewide pre-trial services because uniformity and funding need to be part of this solution as well.”
Dorow has even come under criticism from conservative talk show host Mark Belling, who wrote last year that she has “consistently defended the lenient bail decisions made by court commissioners.”
Read the entire Bice column here. (subscription required)
ALSO: Brooks is appealing conviction.
From Channel 3000:
Following his conviction, Madison criminal defense attorney Chris Van Wagner said the appeal process for Brooks case would be lengthy and potentially complicated.
A potential appeal could also focus on whether Brooks should have been allowed to represent himself.
“The lawyer can actually claim ineffective assistance of counsel to himself, as crazy as that sounds, and claim that he didn’t get a fair trial in the interest of justice because he should not have been allowed to represent himself,” Van Wagner said. “That seems to fly in the face of common sense and logic as well as Mr. Brooks’ wishes, but I have no doubt that will be considered.”