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Leibham's Bill Gets Hearing in Madison

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MADISON, WI (WHBL) - Convicts on probation and parole could be searched more often, under a bill that had a public hearing at the State Capitol Thursday. Right now, state corrections’ agents can search the property of those on probation and parole if they’re suspected of violating the terms of their supervision. The new bill - from Senate Republican Joe Leibham of Sheboygan - would extend those powers to all law enforcement agencies. He says the searches could be made if officers suspect that an offender either committed a crime or is about to commit one.  Sheboygan Police Captain Bob Wallace told a Senate committee it would improve public safety by letting officers more quickly investigate possible criminal behavior.  But Anthony Cotton, of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the police powers could be easily abused. He said an anonymous tip would be the only thing needed to let police go to a person’s home and search it.

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