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  • Rotunda Report
    March 26, 2014

    Criminal Procedure Code Rewrite: Seeking Input for 2015 Bill

    A message from Assembly & Senate Judiciary Committee Chairs

    Dear Criminal Justice System Stakeholders:

    As the State Legislature’s 2013-14 session comes to a close one bill that will not pass, but continues to be a work in progress, is Assembly Bill 383.  The bill represents the twenty year-plus project of the Wisconsin Judicial Council to do a rewrite of the state’s criminal procedure code.  Since AB 383 was drafted and brought forth by the Council as a consensus document, no one is going to “like” everything in it, but it is our hope that all the stakeholders can continue discussions in a cooperative manner.  Change is often difficult but we truly believe this will make significant improvements in Wisconsin’s Criminal Procedure Code. 

    The goal of the rewrite is to bring the criminal procedure code up-to-date and to consolidate the statutes to make them more user-friendly.  Unfortunately, as the session drew to a close it became apparent that some stakeholders had issues that could not be addressed in the available time so the decision was made to hold off passage of a revised bill until the next legislative session, which begins in January of 2015.

    Starting in March, a subcommittee of the Judicial Council will be meeting monthly (the second Tuesday) to produce a revised version of Assembly Bill 383.  The committee is made up members representing stakeholders in the project, including the judiciary, the district attorneys, the defense bar and the Legislature.  Since the original bill was 372 pages, it is expected the revised version will be of similar length.

    The revision will focus on three main areas, including in depth study of specific concerns raised by some stakeholders, making sure that any other criminal code changes passed by the Legislature during the 2013-14 session are incorporated and correcting minor drafting errors.

    Share Your Thoughts with the Legislature

    The goal is to introduce the revised version of the bill in January of 2015, hold public hearings and have it passed by the full Legislature by mid-year.  However, it is our goal to have most of the significant issues addressed prior to the introduction of the bill.  Therefore, if you have any concerns, comments or issues related to the rewrite that you would like the Judicial Council to address please contact us with those concerns as soon as possible. 

    Representative Jim Ott          
    State Capitol 
    Madison, WI 53708-8953                                                

    Senator Glenn Grothman
    State Capitol                                                                        
    211 South
    Madison, WI  53707-7882

    A red lined version of the bill is available at Rep. Jim Ott’s web page. It is apparent that there is some misunderstanding concerning the purpose and scope of AB 383, therefore, if you are not able to attend the subcommittee meetings you can watch them on Wisconsin Eye.   


    Representative Jim Ott                                                          
    Chair, Assembly Committee on the Judiciary           

    Senator Glenn Grothman
    Chair, Senate Committee on Judiciary & Labor


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