In a statement, State Bar of Wisconsin President Jim Boll voices concern about the state of the criminal justice system, and urges the Legislature to fight for equal justice in the days ahead.
Feb. 18, 2011 - The criminal justice system is in a state of crisis and losing qualified prosecutors and defense attorneys. The State Bar of Wisconsin is concerned over the potential impact legislative decisions made in the days ahead could have on the ability to attract and retain attorneys with highly specialized skills offering quality representation in critical state and local government roles. These include judges, prosecutors, public defenders, municipal attorneys, and other lawyers who help ensure public safety.
The State Bar urges the Governor and the Legislature to address the state’s rising court caseload and the loss of experienced mid-level prosecutors and public defenders, who are leaving state service due to the lack of adequate pay progression. Additionally, our private practice attorneys who take public defender cases are operating under an hourly rate set in 1995; these practitioners work to ensure every individual’s constitutional rights to a defense are being met.
In the face of the upcoming budget challenges, we strongly urge the Legislature to fight for equal justice in Wisconsin by taking measures to restore adequate funding for the entire justice system.