Does Wisconsin Law Unfairly Impact Minorities? Part 2 : Legal Articles from Gamino Law Offices, LLC

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Does Wisconsin Law Unfairly Impact Minorities? Part 2

by Gamino Law Offices on 02/05/14

Last time, our Wisconsin immigration attorneys discussed one lawmaker’s proposal that future laws regarding criminal legislation be reviewed on their possible impact on minorities before being allowed to become law.

Wisconsin has the largest population of black men in jail or prison than any other nation, and according to Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood), it’s because certain criminal laws are skewed. She proposes to address this racial disparity in incarceration by requiring any new criminal bill to reveal its impact on members of racial minority groups before it can be passed as a law.

But not everyone seems to be onboard with this idea.

According to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, drawing attention to race when creating a new law is part of the problem that leads to these discrepancies Rep. Pasch talks about.

“Having things break down on racial lines in some ways I think is part of the problem. I prefer a color blind society where we say that laws should be applied fairly,” said Vos.

He is willing to review Rep. Pasch’s bill, but according to him, the laws should be applied equally.

But what is equality in this case? According to Rep. Pasch, minority races are not being treated equally, which is leading some races to suffer greater penalties than others. Does this mean Vos believe the current laws are fair?

“If somebody commits a crime, they should go to jail. I don’t care if they’re black or white,” said Vos very matter-of-factly.

Previous studies have shown that some minorities are more likely to get punished for crimes than their white counterparts. If the law were to apply across racial lines exactly the same way, we wouldn't have a problem. But as with unfair treatment of immigrants, Carlos Gamino speculates that if a white suspect and black suspect were to be accused of  the same crime, chances are the white suspect will get off a lot easier.

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