Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reversing Wisconsin’s “Victim” Culture

Maybe this is a trendy thing in other states as well, but Wisconsin has a bizarre, cart-before-the-horse practice of anointing complaining witnesses and deceased persons as “victims” long before the defendant reaches a plea agreement or calls the first witness at his jury trial.  In one example, I represented a defendant in an obvious self-defense case.  It was so obvious that the jury came back “not guilty” in warp speed—under one hour, if memory serves.  Yet, despite the presumption of innocence and the lack of sufficient factual allegations let alone evidence, the judge and prosecutor had repeatedly used terms like “victim’s rights” and even “the victim” throughout the case and even during the jury trial.