Milwaukee DA John Chisholm KNEW his bail reform would kill people: ‘It’s guaranteed’

John Chisholm office released Darrell Brooks, the suspect in the Waukesha parade tragedy, on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago


                            Milwaukee DA John Chisholm KNEW his bail reform would kill people: ‘It’s guaranteed’
John Chisholm (L) office agreed to a $1,000 bond for Darrell Brooks (R) on November 11th (John Chisholm/YouTube, Waukesha County Sheriff's Office)

John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney whose office released Darrell Brooks, the suspect in the Waukesha parade tragedy, on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago, previously admitted that his new bail policies could lead to killers being set free and murdering others. 

Chisholm, 58, who was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007, started advocating for lower cash bonds for criminals shortly after taking office. Brooks was one such criminal who had a history of domestic violence charges and was recently locked up for running over the mother of his children. While Milwaukee hasn't ever abolished cash bond nor has the state, prosecutors in the DA's office are said to often advocate for lax bail policies.

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"Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into the treatment program, who's going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It's guaranteed to happen," Chisholm told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2007. "It does not invalidate the overall approach," he insisted at the time.

The suspect Brooks, who was bonded out of a Milwaukee jail on November 11th, went on to allegedly kill five adults at the Sunday parade in Waukesha, injuring dozens more including children — who remain hospitalized at the time of publication — after he plowed his SUV through the revelers. Chisholm's office subsequently admitted they'd set an "inappropriately low" bond amount for Brooks's release.



 

That said, this is not the first time a criminal has gone on to kill someone else after being set free by Chisholm's office. In 2012, convicted drug dealer Jeremiah Schroeder, 35, was released from custody on a deferred prosecution and injected a fatal dose of heroin into Cassandra Lutz, a 26-year-old woman, shortly after. The criminal was caught trying to move her body after the act and was put back in prison. Lutz's family said they were "p****d" that he had been let out, aside from the judge in the case who said he regretted it.



 

Chisholm made it clear following his 2007 election that he would push to send fewer people to prison while maintaining public safety despite an unprecedented influx of crime in Milwaukee County. The DA enlisted the help of the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit group, that works with the government "to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice," per the organization's website. The website explicitly states that Vera opposes cash bail. While advocates say the move would help prevent the poorest in the community from being unfairly penalized, opponents believe the measure often results in career criminals being released back onto the streets to commit more offenses.

Darrell Brooks (C) appears at Waukesha County Court on November 23, 2021, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mark Hoffman-Pool/Getty Images)

As previously reported, Chisholm's office agreed to a $1,000 bond for Darrell Brooks on November 11th, after he was held on charges including felony bail jumping and domestic violence. He was released within a few days and was allegedly behind the wheel of his SUV once again, before he plowed through crowds at the Christmas parade on Sunday night, killing five adults and injuring 48 more, including two children. An unrepentant Brooks subsequently ditched his car and walked to a civilian's home, pretending to be homeless and asking for a sandwich. He is now back in custody on five intentional homicide charges.



 

That said, the families of the victims have not revealed whether they plan to sue the city or the state of Wisconsin for letting Brooks out of jail on such a low bond. Nonetheless, there is growing public outrage over the move. According to the Daily Mail, many have laid the blame for the tragedy on Chisholm and the judge presiding over the case, Michelle A Havas. She has not commented on the case at the time of publication.

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