Wisconsin Lawyer: New commission continues criminal justice reform:

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    New commission continues criminal justice reform

    The goal of the recently formed Wisconsin Criminal Justice Study Commission is to identify and help correct problems in the Wisconsin criminal justice system. The commission, comprising prosecutors, police, defense attorneys, judges, victim's advocates, and community leaders, will study criminal justice reforms aimed at protecting the innocent and convicting the guilty.
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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 78, No. 11, November 2005

    Legal news & trendsLegal News & Trends

    New commission continues criminal justice reform

    The goal of the recently formed Wisconsin Criminal Justice Study Commission is to identify and help correct problems in the Wisconsin criminal justice system. The commission, comprising prosecutors, police, defense attorneys, judges, victim's advocates, and community leaders, will study criminal justice reforms aimed at protecting the innocent and convicting the guilty. The 27-member commission, chaired by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael Malmstadt, is sponsored by the State Bar, the Department of Justice, Marquette Law School, and U.W. Law School.

    Since late 2002, Wisconsin has improved the criminal justice system's ability to avoid convicting the innocent and justly convict the guilty. Entities statewide, with varying roles and interests in the criminal justice system, have contributed to the effort, and the commission will build on those efforts. In recent months, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the state Legislature, and the state Attorney General have addressed important reforms to prevent wrongful convictions, including examining issues such as eyewitness identification procedures and electronic recording of interrogations.

    At its initial meeting in August, the commission identified several possible issues for its consideration, including: false confessions and interrogation techniques; training, access to, and funding of defense counsel; tunnel vision (in which system actors across the criminal justice system focus on one view of a case to the exclusion of other views); jailhouse informant testimony; funding for law enforcement implementation of electronic recording; the role of race and ethnicity in wrongful convictions; discovery rules; and methods of helping former defendants in the criminal justice system and individuals who have been exonerated reenter society

    The next meeting coincides with the Wisconsin Law Review symposium, "Preventing Wrongful Convictions: Re-examining Fundamental Principles of Criminal Law to Protect the Innocent" on Nov. 18-19.




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