The state Wisconsin Supreme Court will rule on where former state Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen’s retrial will take place. Should the second trail for the former Assembly Speaker be moved to Waukesha County? That argument was put forward by Jensen’s attorney Robert Friebert, who cited a state ethics law passed in 2007 – five years after the offenses for which his client was charged.
While Dane County D.A. Brian Blanchard concedes that law could apply, he doesn’t think it does in Jensen’s case. “One of the reasons that I personally disfavor the change in the law is that really ordinarily for all crimes, it’s in the county where it occurs,” said Blanchard. “Usually that means the evidence is going to be there, the witnesses are going to be there, people with familiarity are going to be close by. So yes, it adds to the cost, it adds to the burden” if the trial is moved.
Jensen was convicted in Dane County in 2006, but an appeals court overturned that conviction, ruling that part of his testimony had been wrongfully excluded. “None of the delay that’s occurred to date has been the result of actions by the state,” said Blanchard. “We work within a system. Everybody’s doing their jobs.” Since the appeals court decision Jensen was remained out of jail while fighting to have the case moved to Waukesha County, where he lives.
“This is unusually long, in every category” Blanchard said of the case, adding that it’s come to resemble drawn out civil litigation. “It’s extremely unusual for a criminal case.”