West Allis - Protecting crime victims and witnesses will help ensure more convictions and make sure criminals can't intimidate their way to a mistrial. On Monday, Republicans announced a series of bills to get tougher on crime. State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dan Knodl authored three of the bills, which are designed to keep witnesses safe and able to testify.
"Too often criminals are let off the hook because witnesses are too scared to testify," Darling said, "These bills will get more criminals off the street because witnesses and victims will be protected."
The first bill makes any attempt to intimidate a victim of domestic abuse a Class G felony. The other two bills give the courts additional options to conduct victim or witness testimony via video-conferencing or through deposition if there's a reasonable belief that they may have been intimidated or are at risk of not cooperating fully due to intimidation.
"Increasing protections for crime victims and witnesses is important, particularly in cases of domestic abuse," Knodl said, "We should be making it harder for criminals to continue terrorizing our communities, not easier. The legislation we're introducing today moves us in the right direction."
The bills are part of nine pieces of legislation aimed at making Wisconsin safer.
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.
Representative Knodl represents Germantown, Brown Deer, River Hills, and portions of Menomonee Falls, Mequon, and Glendale.