Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Republican "Soft on Crime" Argument Coming Back to Bite Conservative Wis. Supreme Court Candidate

Former public defender Randy Koschnick, now a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, defended one of Wisconsin's most notorious criminals: cop killer Ted Oswald, a case that could haunt Koschnick in his bid to unseat Justice Shirley Abrahamson. JSonline.com describes the killer this way:
Eighteen-year-old Ted Oswald and his father robbed a suburban Milwaukee bank in 1994 and fled. Pulled over by police, the Oswalds opened fire with semiautomatic rifles. Ted Oswald fired the shot that killed Capt. James Lutz. Koschnick called the criticism unfair, saying defense attorneys play an important role in the judicial system and defending Oswald doesn't mean he was trying to get him off.

Ooops. Did Koschnick just say he DIDN’T try to get the jury to find Ted Oswald not guilty? But as a defense attorney, that was his job of course. Does that mean he didn’t really try too hard?

What makes this a point of interest is the tainted recently elected conservative Justice Michael Gableman in his win over Louis Butler, who “became the first sitting justice to lose in 41 years last spring, after opponents ran ads attacking him as "Loophole Louie," a former public defender who was soft on crime.”

It looks like Kuschnick is just another conservative falling on their double edged sword of hypocritical talking points. If you’re a conservative, running on the platform of being tough on crime, you can’t take it back when you’re caught looking for the same “loopholes” liberal defense attorneys were seeking. According to JSonline.com:
Conservative radio host Mark Belling wrote Koschnick's defense of Oswald undermines his ability to run as tough on crime and gives him little chance of winning.
Not only did Kuschnick try the “brainwashed and coerced” defense tactic, but he also took advantage of trying the case locally to game the jury pool who had heard of his “abusive upbringing.” Nothing wrong with that you say, well, it was enough to get the guilty verdict thrown out and a new trial ordered:
(Eight years later) U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ordered a new trial, citing bias among jurors fueled by publicity … a federal appeals court judge said Oswald’s defense team “may have been trying to game the system” …hoping for a biased jury. He was again sentenced to life in prison after a second jury convicted him in 2005.

I have nothing against defense attorney’s doing their job, it’s what they are supposed to do, but it’s something else when liberal candidates are scorned by conservative who have used the same tactics for their clients. You’ve got to take the heat for your hypocrisy.

For instance:
Koschnick handled several homicide cases –helping win acquittal in one for lack of evidence-and represented a father accused of brutally beating two young children.

He DEFENDED a child abuser? Soft on crime? I can’t wait to hear the excuses.

1 comment:

  1. Not only did Koschnick represent all those you mentioned, but also a dad charged with 12 counts of sexual assault of his own three children. Koschnick tried to get the kids medical records released as part of the defense. State v. S.H. or something like that (early 1990s).