A Milwaukee family who lost their son to a driver who drove into a tree at 109 miles per hour is furious with the county’s liberal district attorney, who spent his entire term fighting for lower bails.
Danari Peer, 20, was killed on October 5 while driving on the passenger side of Jai’Quann McMurty’s car.
McMurtry had three felonies on his record involving gun and cocaine possession and was out on bail while driving the car, having received only $1,000 signature bond and $500 cash bond for the offenses.
Nicole Byrd and Jackie Peer blame the lax bail policy of District Attorney John T. Chisholm for their son’s death.
Chisholm was elected Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007, and he immediately began advocating for lower cash bonds for criminals such as McMurtry and Waukesha paratrooper Darrell Brooks — a felon with a history of domestic violence who was last incarcerated for going over the mother of his children.
A Milwaukee family who lost their son, Danari Peer (pictured), to a driver who drove into a tree at 179 miles per hour is furious with the county’s liberal district attorney, who spent his entire term fighting for lower bails
Peer, 20, was killed on October 5 while riding on the passenger side of Jai’Quann McMurty’s car (pictured)
Nicole Byrd and Jackie Peer blame their son’s death on District Attorney John T. Chisholm’s lax bail policy
Chisholm was elected Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007 and he immediately began advocating lower cash bonds for criminals
McMurtry has been charged with three counts of bail, cocaine possession, driving without a license and second-degree reckless manslaughter in connection with the crash.
He appeared on crutches and a wheelchair as he pleaded not guilty in a Milwaukee County court on Thursday. Bail was set at $50,000, which Peer’s parents say is still insufficient.
Jackie Peer, Danari’s father, said, “Within two years he had six felonies to his credit and was still allowed on the street.”
His mother, Nicole Byrd, added, “We are fighting for catch and release to be eliminated. This is not just justice for our son. This is for Milwaukee, for our community.”
They believe the county should step in and ask Brooks’ victims to join them “when they feel like it.”
Milwaukee has never eliminated cash bonds and neither has the state, but prosecutors in the district attorney’s office are calling for lower amounts.
In 2007, Chisholm told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Is there a person that I distract, or put in a treatment program, that is going to kill someone? Sure. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen.
‘It does not detract from the total approach.’
It hit last year, when Waukesha parade killer Darrell Brooks was out on the streets after it emerged he had been released on bail twice this year despite a long criminal history dating back to 1999.
Chisholm released a statement admitting that Brooks, 39, should not have been released earlier this month on $1,000 bail following an alleged hit and run involving his girlfriend.
Brooks received six life sentences on November 16 after pleading guilty to the same number of counts of intentional manslaughter.
The judge symbolically added at least another 1,067 years to the life sentences to underscore the gravity of the crimes for which Brooks said she showed “no remorse, no empathy.”
Brooks, 40, was sentenced after a circuit court jury in Waukesha, Wisconsin, found him guilty of 76 criminal charges on Oct. 26, including six counts of willful homicide.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (right) is an enthusiastic advocate for bail reform who previously suggested that the state should repeat bail reform in San Francisco to abolish cash bail for minor crimes
Darrell Brooks Jr is shown in his November 22 mugshot. Brooks received six life sentences on November 16 after pleading guilty to the same number of counts of willful homicide
The judge symbolically added an additional 1,067 years to the life sentences to underscore the gravity of the crimes for which Brooks, she said, showed “no remorse, no empathy.”
But Chisholm, 58, has previously boasted about letting an anti-cash bailout nonprofit audit his office, and has spoken repeatedly about efforts to reduce his county’s prison population.
Following Brooks’s arrest, Chisholm’s office issued a statement on Monday admitting the career criminal’s bail amount had been set “inappropriately low.”
“The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office’s approach to violent crime cases, nor was it consistent with the defendant’s risk assessment prior to the posting of bail.” .
“This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this case to determine the appropriate next steps,” the statement said.
The huge misstep in the Milwaukee legal office’s handling of Brooks’ bail is because the Milwaukee County District Attorney and long-time District Attorney tried to have fewer Wisconsin residents sent to prison, while the public safety was preserved – amid an unprecedented influx of crime in Milwaukee County.
To combat the crime wave, Chisholm enlisted the help of the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit that works with government leaders and civic institutions “to improve the services people rely on for security and justice,” according to the statement. the organization’s website.
The website explicitly states that Vera is against cash bail. Proponents say the measure unfairly punishes the poorest and leads to disproportionate numbers of ethnic minority suspects being imprisoned awaiting trial. But opponents say the measure often results in career criminals being immediately released back onto the streets to commit more offenses, blaming the measure in part for NYC’s ongoing crime spike.
Milwaukee County still enforces bail rules. But through this coalition with Vera, Chisholm also sought to address prevailing racial disparities in incarceration in the predominantly white county, with Wisconsin leading the nation in black incarceration.
Nicholas Turner, president of the Vera Institute, praised Chisholm’s efforts in the 2015 New Yorker piece.
He said: “Prosecutors have long defined themselves through convictions and winning the big cases with the high sentences. But the evidence certainly indicates that achieving security and justice requires more than just putting people in jail for long periods of time.
Prosecutors must redefine their role in a new era. Chisholm stuck his neck out and began saying prosecutors should also be judged on their success in reducing mass incarceration and achieving racial equality.”
According to data collected by the Milwaukee Employment & Training Institute, more than half of all African-American men in their 30s and 40s living in the state of Wisconsin have served time in state prisons.
said Jackie Peer CBS58“We’re not leaving. This is something we need to continue to honor Danari and help other families.”