Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008

The irony Gableman's attack ads

By Ed Garvey
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Republican Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman has been running attacks against Justice Louis Butler for the Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Richard Brown, 2005 WI 29.

In the Brown case, the majority of the Supreme Court decided that the state had not proven its case that Brown posed a continued threat to the community—which is what the legislature required of the state to prove to justify keeping him in prison beyond the term of his sentence. It has also been reported lately that Gableman held fundraisers for, and donated thousands of dollars of his government salary to then-governor Scott McCallum—who then appointed Gableman to his current job of Burnett County judge.

What hasn’t been pointed out yet, however, is that the McCallum administration, which Gableman was trying to curry favor with, was the same McCallum administration that was to blame for the decision in State v. Brown.

The decision in State v. Brown was that the state did not produce evidence that Brown was a continuing danger to society:

Applying the sufficiency of evidence standard of review to the circuit court order denying Brown's petition for supervised release, we conclude that the evidence adduced at the hearing was not sufficient to meet the State's statutory burden imposed by Wis.Stat.§980.08(4).

State v. Brown, 2005 WI 29 48. So there wasn’t sufficient evidence that Brown was a threat to the public. If Brown was such a threat, how could this happen? Because, the McCallum administration asked the court to release Brown.

On December 30, 2002, the department (of health and family services) filed the updated report, supporting supervised release. The report stated that Brown "ha[d] completed sufficient treatment at (Sand Ridge) to reduce his risk for sexually violent behavior to the point that he has become an appropriate subject for supervised release."

State v. Brown, 2005 WI 29 55. After this filing by the McCallum DHFS, the state then didn’t call a single psychologist to oppose McCallum’s DHFS’s request for release. The result was, not surprisingly, that the state failed to provide enough admissible evidence-- so it failed to prove its case. You can’t blame the referee for calling the game for the defendant when the state doesn’t show up to play—or worse, where the administration throws the game.

Ironically, to the extent any blame is to be assigned for the decision to release Brown (if he had been released, which he wasn’t) was with DHFS under McCallum. Why isn’t Gableman attacking McCallum? Of course! Because Gableman gave thousands of dollars to McCallum, held fundraisers for McCallum, and then McCallum gave Gableman his job. Hmmm. Classic. Accuse the other guy of your weaknesses and hope nobody notices.
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