The Assembly Judiciary Committee is expected to vote today on legislation that would put new limits on John Doe investigations.
Republicans proposed the bill in response to the John Doe probes that first resulted in the convictions of six aides or associates of then-Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker and then looked at coordination between his campaign and conservative groups during the recalls.
Among other things, AB 68 would:
*impose a six-month time limit on a John Doe proceeding. It could be extended by additional six-month periods if a majority of administrative district chief judges found good cause for each extension. They would also have to agree to add specified crimes to the original complaint;
*make records reflecting the cost of John Doe probes and proceedings a public record;
*and allow special prosecutors to be appointed to assist a DA in a John Doe only under certain conditions.
The Senate version of the bill cleared a committee in that house earlier this year.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee and its Senate counterpart also plan a public hearing on a proposed overhaul of the state’s criminal procedure code 23 years in the making.
The bill’s proposed changes touch on strip searches, venues and bail, among many other elements of the code.
… they should scrap the entire John Doe law. There’s no reason to have a separate discretionary investigatory process. Just allow the normal rules of due process and constitutional protections apply.
The John Doe law have been called “screamingly unconstitutional” by a federal appellate judge. Scrap it all together and use grand juries.