From our readers
Letter to Editor:
The DAR Boys & Girls Club thank members, sponsors, volunteers and everyone who bought tickets for the 15th Annual Taste of the M&M Counties. Everyone combined made the 15th Annual Taste of the M&M Counties a big success.
Richard Crevier, CPO
DAR Boys & Girls Club
Letter to Editor:
I just read your article in the May 3rd edition of the Peshtigo Times commencing on page B1 entitled "Judge, DA, Sheriff Slam New Drunk Driving Law". I think the article is confusing at least with respect to my position, and I would appreciate it if you would make that clear.
Judges cannot make legislative policy obviously, and I was not commenting on the new drunk driving law at all. I was commenting on a provision of the law that prohibits defendants who have been convicted of a felony drunk driving offense to be released on bond while a Pre Sentence Investigation Report is being prepared. That report is ordered by the Judge and prepared by the Department of Corrections. It includes an in-depth discussion of the offense, the statements of victims where they are involved, substantial background information with respect to the defendant, including family, educational and employment background. It includes a detailed evaluation by the Department of Corrections of the defendant's rehabilitative needs, as well as the defendant's risk to reoffend and considerable other very valuable information. The difficulty is that it takes the Department of Corrections between six and eight weeks to complete that very substantial report and during that time the defendant is in jail. Because of what we believe is a quirk in the law, the Judge is not allowed to release the defendant from jail, even on Huber law, so the defendant who has been working is forced to sit in jail for approximately 60 days while this report is prepared and almost always loses his or her job.
This is a problem and very frustrating because in some circumstances it will ultimately be the decision of the Judge to place that person on probation, almost always with substantial jail time, but getting treatment and services in the community. Unfortunately, in those cases the defendant will almost always have lost his or her job because of the enforced six to eight weeks of jail time without Huber law.
The point I was trying to make was that many Judges throughout the state simply do not order a Pre Sentence Investigation under those circumstances. They sentence the defendant and in those cases where the defendant is sentenced to jail, that sentence can include Huber law, and the defendant does not lost his or her job. The problem with that is those Judges do not have this wealth of information provided to them in the Pre Sentence Investigation.
The point I was making had nothing to do with the current change in the law. This problem existed before the law changed. I would very much like the opportunity in appropriate cases (and not all cases are appropriate) to allow a person convicted of a felony drunk driving offense and incarcerated as the law requires to have the opportunity for Huber law while the Pre Sentence Investigation is being completed. As I said at that meeting, not all cases are appropriate, and Judges would not need to release a defendant if it were not appropriate, but there certainly are circumstances where the public can be adequately protected while the defendant is able to be released on Huber law, keep his or her job, support the family, etc.
I want to be certain that this is clear. Thank you.
James A. Morrison,
When I read that the Marinette County District Attorney was quitting , I expected the reason would be eye opening for the public. I have talked with the district attorney in the past and I was somewhat aware of the amount of work he and his small staff have. Sadly the Marinette County Board has turned a blind eye towards the District Attorney's office like they have the old jail. The difference is the 400+ cases of the DA's office still need to be dealt with while the old jail building can just fall further into disrepair slowly and be ignored. They both need a lot of money to fix them.
The county board has half listened to the elected sheriff while they have not listened to the elected district attorney at all. The county board added a few deputies and reduced the help in the DA's office. Anyone with common sense knows the criminal cases flow thru the DA's office so this is not going to work out on paper or in the real world.
Let's hope the Marinette County Board does not handle this real crisis like they typically handle many things in the present and did in the past. They should be calling an emergency meeting NOW to solve this long brewing crisis. Let's hope it does not take as long to do something logical as fixing the UW-Marinette building and pool is taking.
A grand slam of thanks to all who made the recent American Legion Baseball spaghetti and meatball dinner a huge success.
Parents, coaches and players again worked well together in a spirited way. The meet and greet of the team was a nice twist to the event.
Special thanks to the American Legion Post 146 for their continuous support.
Steve Van Eyck
Recent stories, opinions and photos