Your VOTE – is your VOICE
Robert A Kennedy, Jr.
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You can also share this message on social media. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.
Robert A Kennedy, Jr. is running for Circuit Court Judge of Florence and Forest Counties. The Election is April 7th, 2020 and he is running against Leon D. Stenz.
“I am running because of dissatisfaction with the way judicial responsibilities have been handled in the criminal justice system,” he said.
The Appleton Post Crescent in December 2015 published a judicial report card rating Leon D. Stenz on sentencing harshness as “extremely lenient”.
Felony complaints filed by the district attorney in Florence and Forest Counties since August 1st, 2008 have resulted in 900 “no Jail” sentences ordered by Leon D. Stenz as of October 31st, 2019. This number includes 318 felony drug complaints.
A “no jail” sentence occurs when charges are dismissed before trial, or there is only a fine/forfeiture, or the defendant is placed on probation with no jail as a condition of probation, and either sentence withheld or jail imposed and stayed; or there is compliance with a deferred prosecution agreement with no jail.
One of these “no jail” felony drug cases was Forest County case 10-CF-84. On December 8th, 2010 Leon D. Stenz ruled the evidence was obtained as a result of an illegal seizure and the case was dismissed. The defendant then sued the arresting officer in federal court, case 11-c-859. Kennedy initially represented the officer and denied a Fourth Amendment violation occurred despite Stenz’s ruling. On March 13th, 2013 U.S. District Judge William Griesbach agreed with that position and dismissed the case without a trial. Judge Griesbach concluded: “In sum, the facts of this case fall squarely within the bounds of permissible conduct under the Fourth Amendment.” Had Judge Griesbach’s reasoning been employed on December 8th, 2010 there would not have been a civil rights suit against a law enforcement officer doing his job.
Not all of these felony “no jail” cases involve first time drug offenders.
One such case was Forest County case 16-CF-51 where the person was sentenced to probation on July 13th, 2016 by Stenz. Previously on June 12th, 2012, Stenz sentenced him in Case 11-CF-101 to probation with 180 days in jail as a condition of probation, and on July 23rd, 2015 in Case 15-CF-8 to probation with 30 days in jail as a condition of probation. Both cases were based upon meth lab involvement.
Kennedy has practiced law, served as district attorney, and circuit court judge here since being admitted to the bar on June 25th, 1980. He says he feels the facts in this campaign need to be objectively discussed at candidate forums for us to decide if the observation of “extremely lenient” in the Appleton Post Crescent is reasonable on an overall basis. The large voter turnout due to the presidential primary will provide the cross section of voters we all need to reach an informed decision on who should be the judge for the next six years.
"I look forward to presiding in a judicial capacity with the appropriate level of accountability for all concerned starting August 1, 2020," said Kennedy