(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File) Tim Michels
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Tim Michels, the Republican nominee for Governor, recently demanded that his opponent, Democratic Governor Tony Evers immediately stop the state of Wisconsin from even considering (much less granting) parole under any scenario to anyone in the criminal justice system.

To cut right to it, such a move would be illegal. 

The Governor has no legal authority to single-handedly stop a process explicitly spelled out under state law that has been used by Executives of both parties for decades.

As reported by Wisconsin Public Radio, “Wisconsin’s Parole Commission is required by law to consider parole for prisoners who (were) convicted of felonies on or before Dec. 31, 1999 under the state’s “truth-in-sentencing” law.”

Those eligible for parole must have served significant portions of their sentence and the total number of individuals who will ever be eligible for parole makes up less than 10% of the state’s total prison population. 

That’s due to the state’s ‘Truth-in-sentencing’ law which changed the way prison sentences are determined in Wisconsin. 

It’s unclear if MIchels is aware of that, given his extensive time living out of state and struggle to grasp widely understood public policy issues on the campaign trail.

What is clear is that the Trump-endorsed Michels believes this is an issue he can use to motivate the MAGA Republican base to turn out and vote regardless of the facts, state law, or the possibility that his own political benefactor may soon need to start thinking about parole himself.