2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
March 20, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives C. Taylor, Kolste, Goyke,
Berceau, Brostoff and Sinicki, cosponsored by Senators L. Taylor and C.
Larson. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
1An Act to amend
175.47 (5), 978.045 (1g) and 978.045 (1r) (bm) (intro.) of the 2
statutes; relating to: prosecution decisions following deaths involving law
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law requires an investigation following a death that involves a law
enforcement officer and outlines specific requirements of the investigation. One
requirement is that the investigators provide a report of the investigation to the
district attorney of the county in which the death occurred, and that district attorney
must determine whether to prosecute the officer. This bill requires instead that the
investigators provide the report to the chief judge of the judicial administrative
district, and that judge must appoint a special prosecutor who then must determine
whether to prosecute the officer.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
175.47 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The investigators conducting the investigation under sub. (3) (a) 6
shall, in an expeditious manner, provide a complete report to the
district attorney of
1the county chief judge of the judicial administrative district
in which the 2
officer-involved death occurred. The chief judge that receives the report shall
3appoint a special prosecutor under s. 978.045 (1r) and shall provide the report to the
4special prosecutor. The special prosecutor shall determine if there is a basis to
5prosecute the law enforcement officer involved in the officer-involved death. If the
6special prosecutor files charges against the officer, the special prosecutor shall be the
7prosecuting attorney in the case.
(b) If the district attorney special prosecutor appointed under par. (a) 9
determines there is no basis to prosecute the law enforcement officer involved in the 10
officer-involved death, the investigators conducting the investigation under sub. (3) 11
(a) shall release the report, except that the investigators shall, before releasing the 12
report, delete any information that would not be subject to disclosure pursuant to a 13
request under s. 19.35 (1) (a).
978.045 (1g) of the statutes is amended to read:
A court on its own motion may appoint a special prosecutor under 16
sub. (1r) or a , except that a court shall appoint a special prosecutor under sub. (1r)
17if s. 175.47 (5) (a) applies. A
district attorney may request a court to appoint a special 18
prosecutor under that subsection sub. (1r)
. Before a court appoints a special 19
prosecutor on its own motion or at the request of a district attorney for an 20
appointment that exceeds 6 hours per case, the court or district attorney shall 21
request assistance from a district attorney, deputy district attorney or assistant 22
district attorney from other prosecutorial units or an assistant attorney general. A 23
district attorney requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor, or a court if the 24
court is appointing a special prosecutor on its own motion, shall notify the 25
department of administration, on a form provided by that department, of the district
attorney's or the court's inability to obtain assistance from another prosecutorial unit 2
or from an assistant attorney general.
978.045 (1r) (bm) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(bm) (intro.) The judge may appoint an attorney as a special 5
prosecutor at the request of a district attorney to assist the district attorney in the 6
prosecution of persons charged with a crime, in grand jury proceedings, in 7
proceedings under ch. 980, or in investigations. The Except as provided under s.
8175.47 (5) (a), a
judge may appoint an attorney as a special prosecutor only if the 9
judge or the requesting district attorney submits an affidavit to the department of 10
administration attesting that any of the following conditions exists:
(1) This act first applies to reports provided on the effective date of this 13