Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Milwaukee County DA Wants Sheriff To Get Off His High Horse And Join The Crime Fighting Team

John T. Chisholm and David A. Clarke Jr.

Chisholm wrote to Sheriff Clarke Jr. that since 2006, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has lost its capability to investigate homicides, dismantled its drug unit, it doesn't have the ability investigate sexual assault cases and the department even got rid of the witness protection program due to budget constraints and neglect. 

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 3, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Monday,  John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney wrote a six-page response to Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. letter send to Milwaukee County Judge Kramer and Chisholm on May 30, and a preceding press release dated May 27, asking that the District Attorney's office and all branches of Circuit Court to temporarily suspend certain practices and procedures. Clarke wanted the DA's and courts to temporarily suspend deferred prosecutions, plea negotiations, read-in pleas, and impose, but stay custodial sentences for all Part I offenses,  pending an independent study of the effectiveness of such practices. 
Chisholm indicated, to do what Sheriff Clarke suggested would jeopardize pending cases, victims would suffer from lack of justice and a case backlog of three to four years could result. According to Chisholm,  no defendant is eligible for a deferred prosecution, if they have engaged in a violent offense, assault or use of a weapon while committing a crime. To "suspend all plea negotiations in such cases is legally, ethically and practically irresponsible. It would lead to the permanent loss of witnesses and evidence. Plea negotiations often allow us to assure lengthy incapacition of violent offenders, and the loss of that practice would instead result in these individuals being freed in the community because backed-up court dockets violate defendants' speedy trials, " Chisholm wrote.
The Sheriff's office does not investigate homicides or sexual assault cases because it doesn't have the skill to do so and doesn't arrest domestic violence offenders, according to Chisholm. 
Chisholm says, that in 2006, Sheriff Clarke decided to get rid of his gun offender investigators, later disbanded the drug unit and got rid of the witness protection program. The DA's Office had 18 Sheriff deputies assigned that were the GRIP task force, including the ATF, which focused on gun carrying offenders, drug dealers and gang related violence. The GRIP task force success was attributed to the lowest homicide rates in 30 years in Milwaukee County from 2007 to 2010, according to Chisholm. 
The DA's office has aggressively prosecuted gun offenders and has the only dedicated Firearms Enforcement Unit in the State of Wisconsin. Chisholm says, that he "will never use a lack of resources as an excuse not to do everything in my power to keep this community safe." 
In a counter proposal, Chisholm suggested for Sheriff Clarke to reassigned those Sheriff Deputies stationed at courthouse security check points who are usually sitting down most of the time and watch security work. The deputies are making overtime and contributing to the $4 million deficit at the cost of County taxpayers. Chisholm would like those deputies assigned to work with the Milwaukee Police Department as part of a newly formed gun violence task force, which needs to be created.
Late last month, Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) learned that court security personnel had received a noticed that Sheriff Deputies would be replacing them by December.

Data provided by Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm, the DA's Office statistics.

● Handle about 20,000 criminal and child protection cases annually

● 500 to 800 people are eligible for early intervention

● Homicide unit of  four prosecutors, since 1992 have prosecuted 2,491 defendants

● Prosecutor Mark Williams has successfully prosecuted more than 580 homicides

● Seven sexaul assault prosecutors have 370 cases opened

● Felony domestic violence prosecutors tried 464 aggravated assault cases last year, with a 71%  conviction rate and a trial conviction rate of 85% rate. Also thousands of misdeamenor conviction for domestic violence.

● Firearms Enforcement Unit has prosecuted more than 330 gun offenders, including felons for gun possession in 2014.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm's letter to Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. (Click on each image to enlarge) Posted by HNNUSA

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