J.B. Van Hollen gets cheers for opposing bail bonds provisionOpponents of a budget plan to allow bail bondsmen in Wisconsin approve of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's call for its removal.
By: By Gilman Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Opponents of a budget plan to allow bail bondsmen in Wisconsin approve of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's call for its removal.
Van Hollen came out against the bail bonds proposal this week, citing the strong opposition from judges and district attorneys that surfaced after the proposal was inserted in the state budget. He told reporters from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the current system in Wisconsin for assuring that defendants show up in court is working and doesn't need to be fixed.
Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm says Van Hollen's opposition adds clout to the almost unanimous opposition from judges and DA’s across the state.
“I don't know of any judge that believes that this is a good system and I doubt very many of them would use it,” Chisholm said. “There might be some very very rare select case where it might be beneficial but there are alternatives in the system already that address those issues.”
Chisholm says he'd like to have cash bail of any kind removed from the pre-trial process. But Dennis Bartlett of the Virginia-based American Bail Coalition says he thinks judges will grow to like the system once they're allowed to use it, especially since there is a financial incentive for the court.
Governor Scott Walker vetoed this proposal the last time it appeared in the budget but he has given no hint whether he will do the same when he issues his vetoes and signs the budget, which he has pledged to do before the end of the week.