Domestic violence bill advances out of panel

Democrats: Proposal's requirements go too far
Domestic violence bill advances out of panel

A Wisconsin legislative committee has approved a bill that would allow more evidence to be used in domestic abuse cases.

The proposal sponsored by Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, would allow prosecutors to use as evidence reports of suspects’ relevant misconduct over the previous 10 years, including violations of restraining orders. Right now, judges don’t always allow such evidence.

Rep. Fred Kessler, a Milwaukee Democrat and a former judge, said he is troubled because the bill would allow evidence from instances in which no charges were filed or the person wasn’t convicted. He said it could result in unproven allegations being heard in court.

But Jacque has dismissed the concern, saying judges would only allow relevant evidence.

Despite Kessler’s opposition, the measure passed on a 7-1 vote Thursday.