Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Milwaukee County Chief Judge Mary Triggiano on Thursday will address the growing controversy over the bail given to a man now accused of killing six people, including a child, and injuring more than 60 others after driving through the Waukesha Christmas Parade.
Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was released on $1,000 bail five days before the parade attack on Nov. 21.
Less than 24 hours after the parade attack, Chisholm's office released a statement saying a prosecutor had recommended an "inappropriately low" bail in Brooks' earlier felony domestic violence case.
The $1,000 bail recommendation was not consistent with the office's approach involving violent crime, nor consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant, according to the statement.
The assessment, obtained this week by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, showed fairly high risk for release from jail. The assessments, used in courts around the country, have been criticized for reinforcing bias and not being individualized. They are only one factor among many in bail decisions from court commissioners and judges.
A Journal Sentinel analysis of similar open cases charged this year found Brooks' bail was considerably lower than the median average of $5,000.
In Brooks' case, the assigned assistant district attorney, Michelle Grasso, who graduated from law school in 2019, did not appear at the hearing where bail was set. Instead, Assistant District Attorney Carole Manchester, a longtime prosecutor, represented the state. Court Commissioner Cedric Cornwall approved the $1,000 bail.
More: What we know about the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack
More: Parade killings defendant's lawyer in prior cases quits, cites connections to victims in Waukesha
More: Darrell Brooks is the suspect in the Waukesha Christmas Parade incident. The Milwaukee man has been charged with crimes 10 times since 1999.
In Wisconsin, judges can only use cash bail amounts to help ensure a person's reappearance in court. When setting other terms of bail, such as ordering a defendant not to have contact with a victim, a judge can then consider protecting the community from danger and preventing witness intimidation.
Wisconsin is one of a handful of states with cash bail, meaning people have to post the full amount in cash to be released from custody.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Chisholm to discuss low bail given to man charged in Waukesha attack