FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              June 18, 2018
Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (920) 749-0400

Rep. Tusler Chosen for Bail and Pretrial Release Study Committee

Legislators and Public Will Examine Balance Between Public Safety and Rights of the Accused

Madison, WI – Last week, Representative Ron Tusler (R – Harrison) was appointed to serve on a select committee that will examine Wisconsin’s pretrial release system. This select committee consists of legislators and members of the public who are experts on or work in the criminal justice system. Rep. Tusler’s appointment comes after the murder of Harrison resident Sara Schmidt by her husband who was released on a cash bond days earlier.

“My past experiences working in the Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office and the public defender’s office in Winnebago County have provided me with valuable insight on the committee’s issues,” Tusler said. “I will not forget Sara Schmidt's murder while we seek answers to improve our criminal justice system.”

The Study Committee is directed to review Wisconsin’s pretrial release system, including considerations for courts in imposing monetary bail and for denying pretrial release. The committee shall review relevant Wisconsin constitutional and statutory provisions and best practices implemented by Wisconsin counties and other states, including use of risk assessment tools for informing pretrial detention decisions. The committee is directed to recommend legislation regarding bail and pretrial release that enhances public safety, respects constitutional rights of the accused, considers costs to local governments, and incorporates evidence-based strategies.

“The opportunity to serve on a Study Committee as a first-term legislator is an honor. I look forward to digging deeper into the issues, listening to the experiences of my fellow committee members, and hearing from members of the public so we can recommend changes that will better-protect the public while meaningfully respecting the rights of the accused,” said Tusler.

The Study Committee will meet over the summer to hear testimony, discuss research, and recommend legislation for the 2019-2020 legislative session. The Study Committee’s first meeting has yet to be scheduled.

More information on the Study Committee, including membership, minutes, documents, and recommendations, can be found here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lc/study/2018/1783.

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