Associated Press: Wisconsin Republicans consider constitutional amendment changing bail.
Groups are lining up in opposition to the bail amendment. The state public defender’s office warned in written remarks to the Senate judiciary committee last month that the changes would result in more pretrial detentions of people who are supposed to be presumed innocent and don’t pose a serious risk to the community, as well as court officials setting excessive bail amounts. . . .
Craig Johnson, president of the board of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that works to ensure defendants are treated fairly, acknowledged in written remarks to the Assembly committee that the parade deaths have sent a “shockwave” across the state. But the problem wasn’t that no one assessed Brooks’ risk to the community — an evaluation was indeed done — but that no one saw it, Johnson said.
“We must remember,” he wrote, “that unnecessary pretrial detention has societal costs and creates a two-tiered justice system — one for the rich, and one for the poor.”
WHBL: Proposed bill to lower threshold for felony theft in Wisconsin.
WSLS: Looking beyond Harvard and Yale for the next Supreme Court justice.
The Guardian: Michigan's citizen-generated maps earn an A rating; Wisconsin's don't.
Neither party was involved in drawing (Michigan's) new maps, a process that is open to abuse if politicians are allowed to allocate particular voters to particular districts in order to guarantee a win there. Instead, the responsibility fell to 13 Michiganders – four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents – who were randomly selected by the state.
The Michigan Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission (MICRC) includes a foster care worker, a retired banker, an aspiring orthopedic surgeon, a mother of six, a college student and a real estate broker.
MICRC, and the approach it epitomizes, came about thanks to Katie Fahey, a Michigan resident and political novice who posted a message on Facebook two days after the 2016 presidential election. She said she wanted to take on gerrymandering and eventually recruited more than 14,000 volunteers to campaign for an amendment to the state’s constitution. It passed with 61% of the vote and created the commission, one of the most successful ways to unrig the redistricting process so far and a potential model for other states.
Princeton Gerrymandering Project: Check the partisan skew of each state's redistricting maps.
Capital B: The effects in Illinois of the ban on Pell grants for incarcerated people.
Congress reversed the ban in March 2021 as part of the COVID-19 relief package. But experts say denying education grants to potentially hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people – a population that is disproportionately Black – not only made it harder for them to find jobs and more likely to return to prison, it also contributed to economic stagnation in the neighborhoods to which many return.
The Department of Education has until July 2023 to restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students. Some colleges already are collaborating with prison systems through an experimental Pell program that the Obama Administration began in 2015. But only about 200 degree-granting schools – or about 4% – offered credit coursework to the incarcerated as of 2018.
CNN: Increased gun violence and use of ghost guns.
Law enforcement officials and gun violence prevention groups have sounded the alarm on the fast-growing threat of unregulated ghost guns. There is no background check required to purchase the parts needed to assemble a firearm at home, which can be done in less than an hour, and often at a low cost.
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