Where Do Wisconsin Residents Stand on Crime and Punishment? : Legal Articles from Gamino Law Offices, LLC

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Where Do Wisconsin Residents Stand on Crime and Punishment?

by Gamino Law Offices on 08/24/13

With reports of increasing violent crime rates in Wisconsin and several authorities pushing for tighter gun laws in the state, it would seem as though Wisconsinites are living in fear for their safety. However, Attorney Carlos A. Gamino notes that a recent poll conducted by the Marquette University Law School shows otherwise.

The poll gives an inside look into what residents think of Wisconsin crime and punishment laws. Although the vast majority of Wisconsinites (85.9 percent) admit to feeling safe at night in their neighborhoods, when asked on how punishment should be carried out for crimes that do take place, the state was divided.

More than have of surveyors believe that prisoners who have served half of their terms should be released, but two-thirds of surveyors supported the “Truth-in-Sentencing” policy, which ended parole in Wisconsin when it went into effect in 1998.

Additionally, the majority of surveyors believed that the “courts are too lenient on criminals.” Yet, the poll noted another interesting trend. Opinions on the death penalty are pretty much divided, but support for capital punishment is starting to waver.

According to Darren Wheelock, a Marquette criminology expert who worked on the poll, this seeming contradiction in Wisconsinite beliefs on crime and punishment show that while the public favors rehabilitation for criminals, most people are not willing to ratify the current laws that hinder such a policy.

Because of the truth-in-sentencing policy, the “do the crime, do the time” attitude has been steadfast, but has this been the best approach? The policy has led many non-violent offenders to suffer the same penalties as violent offenders, serving long, drawn out sentences instead of being allowed the chance to perform community service.

There are varying degrees of severity when it comes to crime, and those who have committed minor infractions or non-violent offenses should not be subjected to the same penalties as violent offenders. For this reason, it’s important for all individuals who have been accused of an offense to turn to a Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer to ensure their rights are not violated.


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