Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz gave a convicted murderer just one year of additional prison time for each of the three instances in which he put a hit out on his witnesses, according to court documents.
In 2020, Protasiewicz sentenced Jarmell Jamez Bingham, who was convicted of murder in 2019, to just three total years of additional jail time after he sent letters from jail to an individual in Milwaukee providing the location of three witnesses who testified against him in court, instructing the recipient to “smoke” them before the appeal. Protasiewicz has recently faced criticism for cases where she gave light sentences to dangerous offenders as Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge, including one where she used COVID-19 to justify giving no jail time to a 25-year old man who sexually assaulted and impregnated a 15-year old, according to 1130 Wisn.
Bingham was initially convicted of 12 felonies in October 2019, including felony murder, felon possession of a firearm, and keeping a drug vehicle.
“Aye you gotta smoke my witnesses before my appeal to make sure I come home for sure,” his letter stated, adding there will be “no trial if they dead.”
Police recovered the letter after the United States Postal Service mistakenly delivered it to the wrong address and the person who received it turned it over to the police due to its “alarming contents,” the complaint states.
Bingham sent four previous letters to the same person between June and September, which phone calls reviewed by Milwaukee County Investigators Phone Analysts found he requested the recipient burn, according to court documents.
Bingham was convicted on three counts of attempted solicitation of 1st-degree intentional homicide, which is a Class F Felony carrying a maximum of $12,5000 in fines or 6 years and three months imprisonment, according to the complaint. Bingham was given one year of additional jail time and one year of supervision for each of the three witnesses he asked the letter recipient to kill, which was added to the 40 year prison sentence from his first conviction.
During the sentencing hearing, Protasiewicz noted she made “some errors in sentencing” on the original felony case, granting Bingham “more credit than is allowed under the statute.” Protasiewicz was notified by the Wisconsin Department of Correction that she gave him 685 days of credit instead of 320 days, according to the transcript.
I have worked very hard to keep our communities safe, each and every day that I am on the bench.
— Judge Janet Protasiewicz (@janetforjustice) March 21, 2023
In another instance, Protasiewicz told a man who raped his unconscious cousin she didn’t think he was “a danger to the public,” giving him 14 months in prison and 18 months of supervision, documents show.
A recent ad by Protasiewicz’s conservative opponent Justice Daniel Kelly cites a separate case, where she let a man who “assaulted and raped a 13-year-old girl, recorded it, and posted a video of the act to Facebook” off with no jail time, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Protasiewicz initially sentenced the man, Quantrell Bounds, to 5 years for 1st Degree Child Sex Assault with a child under 13, but stayed the sentence and placed the defendant on a 5 year probation, according to court documents.
Bounds was charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon in March 2022.
During the Wisconsin Supreme Court debate Tuesday, Protasiewicz told her conservative opponent Justice Daniel Kelly that cases accusing her of light sentencing had been “cherry picked.”
Wisconsin GOP spokesperson Rachel Reisner told the Daily Caller News Foundation the cases are indicative of a “clear pattern.”
“These cases are among the many disgusting sentences handed out by liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz,” Reisner said. “No matter how many cases you look at there is a clear pattern — Protasiewicz has made it her mission to disregard victim’s trauma and release violent criminals back onto the streets.”
Protasiewicz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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