Bill would clarify bail amendment set for Wisconsin ballot

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – As promised, Wisconsin Republicans are offering clarity on when judges might apply a proposed amendment that would make it harder for violent criminals to go free on bail.

The proposed amendment that the Republican-controlled Legislature fast-tracked to the April ballot would allow courts to consider a defendant’s past convictions for violent crimes when setting bail, but state law offers several definitions for what constitutes a violent crime.

The amendment’s sponsors on Friday circulated a bill that would provide a clear list of which crimes judges could look at.

If the Legislature passes the definition, it would only go into effect if voters approve the proposed amendment in April.