Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s decision to push for an “inappropriately low” bail allowed a convicted criminal accused of additional felonies to walk free days before he allegedly deliberately drove an SUV through a crowded parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The driver is a 39-year-old black male out on bail after allegedly running over a woman he had a child with, according to police. Counting the charges filed Monday after the parade attack, the alleged driver is now facing three separate criminal cases involving felony acts of violence. Since 1999, he has been convicted of battery and consensual sex with a minor and faced a series of other charges including battery, drug charges, and resisting law enforcement.
The suspect, who The Daily Wire has decided not to name, was released from jail last week after posting a $1,000 bail set by a judge on a recommendation from Chisholm’s office. Chisholm admitted Monday that the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low” considering the risk factors and charges the alleged driver was facing at the time. One of the pillars of Chisholm’s prosecutorial philosophy, however, centers on recommending less than the usual bail amount for certain non-violent criminal activity.
Chisholm has previously expressed disregard for the fatal impacts of sentencing decisions made under his progressive view of the justice system. Chisholm’s approach to criminal justice emphasizes remediation through social programs and addressing “racial disparities” in the prison system over strict prosecution of crimes.
“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach,” Chisholm said in a 2007 interview.
Chisholm was elected Milwaukee County district attorney in 2006, and he has since taken credit for inspiring a new wave of progressive prosecutors. In addition to Chisholm’s “bold” example, progressive prosecutors have been boosted into office with financial backing from billionaire financier George Soros. Soros’ campaign to elect progressive prosecutors across the U.S. began in 2016 and has pushed candidates to victory in cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and St. Louis.
Critics say that the progressive push for bail reform has instead resulted in more criminals being let loose to commit more crimes, in some cases with fatal consequences. In 2013, Chisholm’s office allowed a convicted drug dealer charged with felony drug offenses to walk free under a deferred prosecution agreement. The man went on to inject a fatal amount of heroin into a 26-year-old woman.
The 2013 case appears to be the rule, not the exception, to Chisholm’s way of operating. In 2010, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review of Chisholm’s record three years since he took office revealed that Chisholm’s team of prosecutors offered similar deferred prosecution deals to hundreds of defendants “charged with offenses such as felony assault to police officers, prostitution, burglary, felony child abuse, lewd behavior and graffiti.”
Cities looked after by other prosecutors of Chisholm’s type have suffered similar consequences. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, whose 2016 and 2020 campaigns received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros-backed groups, saw the highest murder rate in her city in over 50 years in 2019. While the murder rate in St. Louis has risen steadily over the past decade, it now ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, hitting 15th on USA Today’s ranking and beaten primarily by cities in cartel-ravaged Mexico.
In the midst of St. Louis’ skyrocketing murder rate, Gardner has pushed forward with criminal justice reforms that have seen a significant drop in prosecutions and an increased preference for issuing summons for potential criminals rather than arrest warrants. And while Gardner’s office has taken up fewer cases, her chances of successfully prosecuting those cases her office decides to take appear to be some of the worst in the U.S., according to a 2020 review of Gardner’s success rate by KMOV4.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, another Soros-backed prosecutor, has overseen a wave of homicides since she was elected to office in 2015. She has also pursued similar criminal justice reforms, letting so-called low-level criminals walk free while claiming to focus on more violent offenders.
Baltimore’s murder rate has exploded since she took office. Baltimore averaged 229 homicides per year in the eight years before Mosby took office. From 2015 to 2019, Baltimore did not see lower than 300 homicides in a year and averaged 331, a jump of over 100 homicides a year since Mosby took office.
Similar scenarios have played out in cities such as Chicago under Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Philadelphia under District Attorney Larry Krasner, who both were elected with the support of political action committees that received millions of dollars in financial backing from Soros.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.