Wisconsin debates making battery on court staff a felony

Many states have enhanced penalties for assaults or other crimes committed against judges for performing their functions as officers of the third branch. Many states are however moving to increase the penalties for crimes committed against court staff in the course of their duties. This year one such bill is Wisconsin’s AB 424. The bill

  • Makes battery or threat to a court employee a Class I felony (Wisconsin felonies range in severity from A down to I).
  • Makes it a Class I felony to threaten to cause damage to a courthouse and if the threatened action could result in bodily harm to a judge or court employee.

The Wisconsin Assembly’s Judiciary and Ethics Committee heard testimony on the bill February 2, 2012, the video of which is below.