- - Thursday, February 23, 2023

A man sexually assaults a 15-year-old girl. He gets arrested, charged and convicted of a felony for his crime. Instead of sentencing the child rapist to prison time, the judge stays his sentence, allowing him to avoid time behind bars if he completes five years of probation. Hard to imagine that a judge like that could win reelection.

Amazingly, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz presided over the case. Instead of resigning in shame, “No Jail Janet” is now the liberal candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In fact, she was the leading vote-getter in this past Tuesday’s primary election.

The other candidate to make it through the primary was former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. Full disclosure: I appointed Justice Kelly to the high court during my time in office. He understands that justices and judges do not make the law, they merely uphold it.

In contrast, Judge Protasiewicz has repeatedly made statements about her views on abortion, redistricting, and union reforms. Judge Protasiewicz is telling us how she is going to rule on critical cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She wants to impose her radical viewpoint on the rest of us. Instead of the rule of law, she wants to invoke the Rule of Janet. That is not the role of the judiciary.

All of this should be concerning to anyone who cares about justice and freedom. What she has said about redrawing the boundaries of the congressional and legislative districts should raise red flags across the country.

Over the past two years, radical activists have proposed a variety of redistricting maps. The most partisan versions of gerrymandering could force Wisconsin to lose one or even two of the seats held by Republicans in Congress. This could be the difference in 2024 if the House majority is on the line.

This should serve as a wake-up call, as liberals currently have an advantage in the race. The recent headline in the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal says it all, “Liberal Janet Protasiewicz campaign flush with out-of-state money in Wisconsin Supreme Court race.” The huge financial advantage led to Judge Protasiewicz’s win in the primary election. For Mr. Kelly to win, he is going to need some real help.

We must focus on the issue of public safety. As mentioned, “No Jail Janet” has a real problem putting dangerous criminals behind bars.

Kenneth D. Wright pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault, a Class G felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. According to a criminal complaint, Wright, who was then 25, approached a 15-year-old girl as she was walking down the street and started a sexual relationship with her shortly after. Her mother said that she became pregnant after she had been sexually assaulted.

Wright was arrested by the police and charged by prosecutors. He pleaded guilty. “No Jail Judy,” however, refused to give him any prison time for his crime.

“But for COVID, I would be giving you some House of Correction time,” Judge Protasiewicz told him. “These are strange times, Mr. Wright. I’m not going to do that.”

Amazingly, “No Jail Judy” stayed the sentences of three years in prison and five years of extended supervision, meaning that Wright would not have to serve a single day behind bars if he completed five years of probation. Not surprisingly, he screwed up.

Ten months after Judge Protasiewicz let him off, Wright was charged with killing Jamera Doyle in a drunken-driving crash. She was pronounced dead at the scene. This would have never happened if “No Jail Judy” had kept Wright behind bars.

In a similar case, a career criminal picked up a 15-year-old girl who had fled her group home, took her to a hotel, and raped her. She escaped and called the police.

Prosecutors got the criminal to plead guilty to two felonies that could have put him in prison for up to 35 years. Instead, “No Jail Judy” stayed the rapist’s sentence.

In another case, Judge Protasiewicz let off an offender who was charged with three felonies for having sexual contact with girls aged 7, 8 and 11. Even prosecutors in the soft-on-crime Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office recommended two years of prison and eight years of extended supervision.

Instead, “No Jail Judy” ignored the recommendations and gave the offender probation and credit for the 200 days he had served in jail.

Each of these examples, and many more like them, is evidence of unfitness for the court. When you add her openness to judicial activism, you can see how “No Jail Judy” could join with a new radical majority and force courts across the state to reduced or eliminate cash bail, change sentencing guidelines to favor offenders, and release violent criminals.

“No Jail Judy” can never become a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

• Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.

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