The Not-So-Sexy Side Effects of Evers and Barnes Goal to Reduce Prison Population 
September 24, 2022

Tamira Musgrave



  • Gov. Evers’ Parole Commission has freed at least 884 convicted criminals. 
  • Evers was not being sincere back in 2018 when he said, “we will not release violent criminals.” 
  • In 2018, Mandela Barnes called decreasing prison populations “sexy” in a video.
  • One released criminal was a man who decapitated his wife and put her head in a wood-burning stove, among many others with sick and demented charges.

Senator Ron Johnson has much to say about Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and their recent Parole Commission decisions. The duo opted to release over 300 murderers, attempted murderers, and rapists from prison. Johnson spoke at a Green Bay rally on Sunday, September 18, 2022, and included the numbers from a Wisconsin Right Now report. Gov. Evers’ Parole Commission has freed at least 884 convicted criminals. 

He reminded guests attending the rally that the Evers administration, just from 2019-2021, freed 44 child rapists and over 270 murderers and attempted murderers by allowing them early parole. Evers was not being sincere back in 2018 when he said, “we will not release violent criminals.” 

Despite many inquiries concerning the most recent list of released criminals, The Parole Commission has avoided making those records available. State Senator Van Wanggaard commented about the delays in making those records available, “I will be blunt. It appears that the Department and/or the Commission is stonewalling and undermining the Legislature’s duty to oversee the DOC and Commission.” 

Wanggaard wrote a letter on September 22 to DOC Secretary Carr, “I am now invoking Wis. Stat. §13.45(7), which requires DOC to provide my committee “ready access to any books, records, or other information relating to [their] tasks.” 

Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes plan to decrease the prison population isn’t going as planned, as simply releasing convicted murderers and rapists will not create a safer Wisconsin. 

Jeopardizing the Safety of Wisconsin  

Taking people who belong in the prison system and releasing them into society doesn’t mean crime rates are improving. Yes, there may be fewer individuals in prison temporarily, but what are the bigger-picture consequences of taking this risk? Cutting the prison population isn’t doing much but endangering the people of Wisconsin.

Ron Johnson stated, “These are the people that Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes have let loose into society. How does that reduce crime? It doesn’t. These people are dangerous. We cannot allow them to win.”

One released criminal was a man who decapitated his wife and put her head in a wood-burning stove. Another individual broke into a nurse’s home and proceeded to stab, strangle, and rape her. Another man threw a pregnant teenage girl off a bridge to her death. A biker cut a woman’s throat and threw her body into a manure pit after gang-raping her—another man who executed two tourists in an I-94 ditch in Oak Creek. Various cop-killers have been released under the Evers administration as well. Many victims’ families were not notified or even aware of the paroles. 

Evers and Barnes had a grand idea of reducing the prison population by 50%. However, we have not seen any legitimate, viable plan implemented by the Evers administration. Instead, we are witnessing violent prison inmates being released on early parole and Evers handing out countless pardons to criminals who belong behind bars. 

In 2018, Mandela Barnes called decreasing prison populations “sexy” in a video. Fast forward one year, and the Evers/Barnes Parole Commission chair already began releasing brutal killers and unhinged rapists into Wisconsin communities.

Something remarkably unsettling about the Lt. Governor calling their plans “sexy” while knowing perfectly well that they’re jeopardizing the safety of Wisconsin and putting Wisconsinites in grave danger. The administration seems to have taken a vow of silence on the issue, regardless of how many victims’ families and state officials demand explanations. 

Unfortunately for Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes, Wisconsin voters aren’t too worried about the state being “sexy.” However, they are highly concerned with inflation, followed by crime and safety, according to the Marquette Law School poll released on August 17, 2022.

A Racine County Supervisor by the name of Taylor Wishau won’t give up and is insisting that Evers explain why his Parole Commission appointee has released two murderers in local cases without notifying victims’ families properly. 

Failing to do so directly breaks state law according to WI Statute 304.06 – Paroles from State Prisons and House of Correction. Wishau commented, “It is reprehensible that your administration failed to follow State Law and make any reasonable attempts to notify the victim’s families of the violent offender’s release into our society.” 

Wishau reached out on September 16, 2022, stating, “I am a Racine County Supervisor within Western Racine County. I write to you today on behalf of my community and constituency due to the shocking news reports of your administration paroling Wilson Lee Brook and Mark Ketterhagen in 2019.” Unfortunately, Barnes, Evers, and Kaul refused to provide answers or comment on paroles or victim notification issues. 

Tim Michels also slammed Evers for not caring about the heinous crimes or the surviving victims and their families. 

The Evers administration decided to bite back, suggesting that Evers is not to blame and doesn’t have the authority to suspend or end paroles. However, the commission chairman he appointed and his parole commission possess that power. The chairman controls parole, and the commission regularly interviews eligible inmates. On the other hand, the Governor can decide who is granted a pardon. 

A pardon does not erase a conviction. However, it does restore certain rights, such as owning firearms, finding and securing a job, among other privileges. Evers has pardoned more inmates than any governor in Wisconsin history. Evers has granted over 600 pardons. Even though he said he wouldn’t release violent criminals in 2018, it is happening today. Unfortunately, Evers was not transparent with Wisconsin residents when he made that comment. His refusal to take responsibility and discuss the consequences and risks of cutting prison populations has resulted in frustration sweeping the state.

The Evers Administration Refuses to Acknowledge The Issue They Created

The list of released dangerous criminals continues to grow while the Evers administration remains silent. Not only is the Evers administration releasing these extremely high-risk individuals into WI communities, but they also fail to follow simple state law by refusing to notify victims’ families of these paroles. To top it all off, the administration doesn’t feel they have to explain themselves for any careless actions. 

Again, something that is at the top of the priority list for registered voters is crime. Mandela Barnes and Tony Evers refuse to comment or speak about their decisions’ negative impact. Instead, they’re creating a state where murderers and rapists get dealt a better card than Wisconsin’s hard-working, tax-paying residents and families. 

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