“This case was essentially a case where it appeared to be going nowhere and the detectives in this case built this case out of absolutely nothing,” Mark Williams, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, said at trial. “They deserve the credit of the community for the job that they did.”
Revelations from jailhouse informant Leslie Vernon White prompted a mass review of cases spanning an entire decade in which jailhouse testimony had been used to secure a criminal conviction. And it led Los Angeles County to adopt what one expert calls some “of the best jailhouse snitch protections in the country.”
Several Wisconsin cases from the The National Registry of Exonerations show how incentivized testimony can contribute to wrongful convictions. Each involves testimony from informants that was later proven false.
A Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report on problems regarding the use of GPS devices to monitor convicted offenders was a factor in the decision of state lawmakers to delay approval of some funding sought by the state Department of Corrections for program expansion, and seek a study on the program’s effectiveness.
“People are concerned with the accuracy of the GPS monitoring devices,” said state Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, citing the Center’s report.
In response to a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report, Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, called a hearing to question Wisconsin Department of Corrections officials about the reliability of GPS monitoring of offenders.
Thirteen offenders told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that Wisconsin’s GPS tracking system repeatedly fails, registering false alerts and landing the offenders in jail although they had done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker is proposing an expansion of nearly 50 percent in the number of offenders monitored by GPS devices.
Dairy farmer Jeremy Meissner and farm manager Huron Mireles are part of the reason Clark County’s population is growing while nearby counties’ levels are declining. Part three of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.
In Wood County, where almost half of the paper industry jobs disappeared during the past decade, local leaders are using a regional approach to boost existing industries. Part two of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.
In the three-day Rural Slide series, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism explores rural population losses in three Wisconsin counties — and potential statewide solutions. Below, short profiles of some of the young people interviewed by the Center’s Lukas Keapproth and Mario Koran.
In Iron County, which lost one of every seven residents from 2000 to 2010, residents say a controversial taconite mine may be the only way to reverse devastating population loss. Part one of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.