Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blanchard Urges Judge To Keep Jensen In Custody

Dane County DA Brian Blanchard filed a brief today urging Judge Steven Ebert to keep former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen from being released on bond pending appeal.

"A motion for release on bond must be judged on the likelihood that an appeal could be successful, and that the defendant would be irreparably injured -- Jensen and his attorney have not demonstrated any significant grounds to support those criteria," Blanchard wrote.

"Jensen will suffer irreparable injury from the denial of release pending appeal only if he serves all or most of his prison sentence while the appeal is pending, and also the appeal ultimately results in reversal of his conviction. Jensen has failed to show it is likely he will suffer irreparable injury because he has failed to show it is likely he will succeed on appeal," Blanchard writes.

Blanchard also attempts to shoot down the claim that Jensen is entitled to the release because he was not convicted of a violent crime. He admits while the multiple counts of misconduct in public office don't constitute personal violence, "(Jensen) did do violence to the trust necessary to a democratic system of government." And Jensen's attitude toward his offense makes him likely to recommit, Blanchard argues.

"At trial, the defendant both lied about his knowledge of the misconduct that was charged, and also attempted to assert that even if he had committed various of the charged acts, it was not wrong for him to do so," writes Blanchard. "He claimed, in part, that he was entitled to do what he did. Even at sentencing, he failed to recognize or acknowledge the wrongfulness of his conduct. While it is more difficult for him to facilitate or participate directly in official misconduct now that he is no longer a public official, his belief that he did nothing wrong represents a risk that he will engage in other fraudulent conduct, because he believes he is entitled to do so."

A motion hearing in the case is scheduled for June 19. Jensen has been ordered by Ebert to report to the Dane County Jail on July 15 to begin serving a 15-month sentence, unless a stay is granted pending appeal.

See Blanchard's filing: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/060602jensen.pdf

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