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Lawmaker says WI criminal law unfairly impacts minorities

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MADISON (WITI) -- Does Wisconsin criminal law unfairly impact black men? One state lawmaker says the evidence is clear, and she wants the racial impact of any new policy to be considered before it becomes law -- but not everyone is on board.

Milwaukee father Marshall Washington says the criminal justice system in Wisconsin is weighted against black men.

"Everytime I see a cop car, there's a black person in the back of the cop car," Washington said.

What Washington says he sees in his neighborhood is reflected in the data.

A recent UW-Milwaukee study found that Wisconsin -- a state with a black population of only 6.5% has the highest percentage of incarcerated black men in the country.

"It's crazy," Washington said.

One in eight black men of working age are in state prisons or jails. That's almost 13% -- nearly twice the national average.

"It has repercussions for our families, for society, for jobs -- for so many different things," Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood) said.

Rep. Pasch is proposing a way to address Wisconsin's high rate of racial disparity in incarceration -- by requiring, for any criminal bill, a statement showing the impact of the bill on members of racial minority groups.

"There needs to be racial impact study on bills related to criminal justice and penalties," Rep. Pasch said.

She says her idea is similar to fiscal or environmental impact statements -- done on most other laws.

They would provide legislators with a statistical analysis of the projected impact that policy changes could have on minority groups.

"I certainly do not believe  that every bill that goes through should have some kind of racial analysis to see how it impacts one specific group. I want to see how it impacts the entire state of Wisconsin. 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," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said.

Vos says he will review the bill, but says laws should be applied equally.

"If somebody commits a crime, they should go to jail. I don't care if they're black or white," Vos said.

Iowa, Connecticut and Oregon all have similar laws. If Wisconsin were to pass the "racial impact statement" requirement, it would become the fourth state in the nation to do so.


  • Edward Thomson

    This is 100% BS! There are more black males in prison because THEY ARE THE ONES COMMITTING THE CRIMES! I HATE this liberal BS blaming bills and so on. Here is a quote for the idiot Sandy Pasch, “If you can’t do the time…DON’T DO THE CRIME!” We won’t even comment on what Mr. Marshall Washington looked like on the news. PULL UP YOUR PANTS, shave your face, cut your hair and do something for yourself! Turn on the news, any channel, any morning. Who do you see committing the bank robberies as of late? Who do you see committing the bar robberies? Who do you see shooting each other and selling drugs? There is your answer on why 1 out of 8 black males are in prison.

  • S.Johnson

    Of course they are targetting black men, and black people in general (I am a black woman) cause when you look at the demographics of Wisconsin, not in favor of AA’s anyways. ALL PEOPLE commit crimes but you only have certain people who look a certain way who is being made an example out of.

    • 2econd

      Mabye there is an app that can be downloaded into security cameras to change the perp from black to white…. yea, and thats what the cops do, drive down the street and ignore all of the white guys raping and pillaging yous black folk to throw the poor black man in jail.

  • 2econd

    “It has repercussions for our families, for society, for jobs — for so many different things,” Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood) said.

    so Sandy, why dont we let all of those poor blacks out of prison that are being detained for no reason and move them in your f’n neighborhood, set an example for all the rest of the lawmakers, go ahead show every body that there isnt anything wrong with all of these black inmates.

  • 2econd

    “Everytime I see a cop car, there’s a black person in the back of the cop car,” Washington said.

    Time to tint the windows in the back of the squad cars black, oh wait, sorry that sounds racist, paint them white so no one can see whos sitting in the back of the squad. Better yet, we could have all of the squads fitted with decals on the rear windows to give the perception that there is a white guy sitting in the back… come on Sandy, this could work, and then people like Mr. Washington could feel better that he never sees a black in the back of a squad!

  • Lrb

    So white and other ethnic groups will have to abide by the rules, but if your black you get another rule?? Nothing like encouraging more crime. Where did she get her diploma? Just another reason to start turning people to racism. Will that card ever stop being played and actually people will take responsibility for one actions. Or is that just for white??

  • Grace

    If they were innocent no one wud get arrested so profiling?maybe but they’re guilty so there.as if they got a citation only.true white girls delivering drugs get by just fine though!!

  • Grace

    What this leaves out is that also Hispanics get all these police cars out there big scene then the judge lets them out?!!what the hell?leave em locked up so we can relax and not be robbed while we aren’t home!

  • sandman54862

    Scott Walker was a state representative and the chairman of the Assembly Corrections Committee, he introduced bills that would privatize state prison operations and that would allow private corrections companies to open prisons in Wisconsin to house inmates from other states. This also allowed outsourcing our Prisoners in several states.
    In 1995 Walker and Prosser as state assemblymen championed for ALEC with truth in sentencing telling the legislatures it would not cost a dime it was to give judges not parole boards the control over sentencing. Then Walker filibustered to stop sentencing changes after the fact misleading ALL the legislatures. With out the sentencing changes Wisconsin`s prisons quadrupled over night. Most people sentenced to 2 years now had to serve as much as 6o years.
    This ended liberty a jusce for ALL in Wisconsin except the rich and powerfull. This destroyed thousands of families , and has made over one million Wisconsin children homeless and father less. The so called Justice system Wisconsin DOJ (JUST US SYSTEM) has ruined generations our youth for personal and agency gain. It has created criminal colleges nothing more. It has made the streets of Wisconsin VERY UNSAFE. Todays police are so worried about he people because of their aggresson on our youth. Citizen revenge or guilty consciences has created one of the most unstable justice systems in the world even tourist are afraid to visit our state. Last year in ALL of America 33 officer died in the line of duty last year. The lowest number since 1887. A officers chance at getting shot are less than your chances of winning a 100 million in the lottery. Over 4000 babies died from crib death last year. No occupation has less deaths .
    Police have the safest jobs ob the planet as the numbers show.
    On the other hand police are responsable for 1 in 13 shootings . The number of deaths annually is over 1000 annually kill by police. I have yet to witness one that was not jutsified . MURDER by Cop is 100% legal. This clearly shows that if not for double standards the just u sytems would not have any. Last week another unstable officer MURDERED a 68 year old unarmed man all wannabe rambos. This murder was jusified in a few days. like the BELL execution by four unstable cowrads with badges. These officers they got National awards for their murder rampage. In the Bell Case the district attorney Robert Jambois committed over one dozen criminal acts to protect the murders as the latest evidence revealed . When Prosecutors Mishandle Cases, Everyone Pays…Except For Them
    If not for double standards they would not have any at ALL. The 471 criminal regimes all part of the Wisconsin DOJ called justice systems never produce justice. They just cost 2.8 billion annually. Thanks to BIG GOVERNMENT BIG SPENDER SCOTT WALKER. He does not support liberty, justice, freedom, free speech, or democray . Walker wants prison slave labor . Walker has cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin 2.8 billion for the DOJ budget annually 3.2 billion annually in social sevices for the families of his victims.
    This also forced Wisconsin build or remodel 71 courthouse and county jails. Tthe average cost per jail like in Eau claire county was 60 plus million just for the building. Walker budget is short over 100 billion thanks to him. This also required Wisconsin to hire 32,000 union public sector workers since 1995 in the DOJ. BIG GOVERNMENT SCOTT WALKER.
    Walker will Pray in church or sunday and pray on the people all week long.
    This is how Josef Stalin and Fred Koch working together got slave labor in Russia in the 1920`s. Divde concer and incarcerate as the russian history shows. Wisconsin is repeating Russian history.
    Like scott walker says it is working . For the koch dynasty.
    Not educating children is child abuse scott walker. Walkers supports his HERO ted nugent who says poor people should not have the right to vote. Could an AMERICAN think that ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsHXJr8tqP0 . This is Ronald Reagan on Scott Walkers ideals saying they are commuist.
    This explains the Wisconsin justice stystem making mountains out of mole hills to advance themeslves. This is where they wiil all end up too. Plea bargainging / legal extortion has allowed Wisconsin to have a 97% of all convictions never got a honest day in court. You plea to this or get one hundred years. This is the most violent act in America today . extortion by district attorney which would never be allowed in a democrcay. Walker ended democracy in Wisconsin for russian king david koch. This is the reason mostf our ansestors came to America. To get away from evil walkerites for democracy and freedom. To end king rule and have citizen input. Something Walker does not allow.

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