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Wis. defendants waiting longer for sentencing

Published On: May 26 2013 07:40:35 PM CDT
OTD March 22 - Pamela Smart

istock

1991: High school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of manipulating her student-lover into killing her husband, is convicted in Exeter, N.H., on charges of accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and witness tampering. She was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.

RACINE, Wis. -

Wisconsin defendants waiting to be sentenced are having to wait several weeks longer to learn their sentences.

Corrections officials cite two reasons for the delays -- too few probation agents to conduct pre-sentence investigation reports, and stricter requirements in the reports that take longer to complete.

A Journal Times of Racine report said in 1997 the Department of Corrections implemented a three-week turnaround to complete the reports. But DOC spokeswoman Lisa Yeates said it's become difficult to meet that deadline.

She said the reports can now take six to eight weeks. That's because they have to include the results of a risk-assessment tool, making the reports 20 pages or longer.

The public defender's Racine office says the delay hurts defendants who end up being sentenced to time served.

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