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As lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Democrat Mandela Barnes has no authority to grant parole to incarcerated people.

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers exercises some control over the Wisconsin Parole Commission in that he appoints and may dismiss its chair, who makes the final determination on parole requests. In June, Evers asked for and received the resignation of Parole Commission Chairman John Tate II after the latter granted a controversial parole of a convicted murderer. Neither Evers nor Barnes is directly responsible for the decisions made by the Wisconsin Parole Commission.

Barnes has expressed support for criminal justice reform on multiple occasions over the years, including reducing prison populations. When he served as a state legislator on the Assembly Corrections Committee, he sponsored bills that would eliminate cash bail and limit revocations of parole for non-criminal violations.


Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: 17.07(3m)

State of Wisconsin: DOC parole information

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: What to know about parole, truth in sentencing and when people can get out of prison in Wisconsin

Washington Monthly: In Wisconsin Senate race, Democrat Barnes needs to fight without charging racism

TrackBill: Rep. Mandela Barnes

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: Chapter 304

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.