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War of words continues between Milwaukee County sheriff, DA

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Making plea deals does not mean that prosecutors are soft on crime.  

So says Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. He wrote a five-page response to Sheriff David Clarke, who recently said the DA should consider banning plea bargains for major crimes and sending all such offenders to prison.  

Chisholm said that if he took all murder cases to trial, his staff would miss deadlines for submitting evidence and legal briefs -- thus letting killers go free. The DA also said it would be a travesty to have trials for all sexual assaults, without considering the effects on victims and their families.

Clarke said Milwaukee County has a "revolving door" justice system that fosters the kind of violence in which a 10-year-old girl was shot in crossfire while on a school playground last month.

The same shooting spurred criticism of Chisholm from state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. He accused the DA of bargaining down serious crimes while spending too much with John Doe investigations into Vos' fellow Republicans.  

Chisholm called the speaker's claim "nonsense," while the DA had much stronger criticism for Sheriff Clarke. Chisholm said Clarke spends too much time hosting talk radio shows, and has deputies watching guards check courthouse visitors instead of catching criminals in the streets.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)