State lawmakers hold public hearing on GOP bail reform proposal

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- For the first time, the public got to weigh in on efforts at the state Capitol to reform bail laws.

Lawmakers held a public hearing on a GOP proposal that would change the state's constitution to allow courts to consider how dangerous a defendant is to the community when setting bail.

Republicans say it will address longstanding issues in our state's bail system, but some public defenders expressed concerns.

"Communities and families around Wisconsin have been devastated by decisions surrounding bail," said State Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield). 

"We do have concerns the changes in the resolution will result in the number of people who are detained pretrial who are presumed innocent by the US Constitution and don't pose a serious risk," said Adam Plotkin of Wisconsin State Public Defenders.

Republicans failed to pass the amendment last year, but they hope to have momentum now because of the low bail set for the Waukesha parade suspect. 

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