Saturday, June 11, 2022

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Disorderly Conduct is not Domestic Violence


In November of 1993, Daniel Doubek was convicted of disorderly conduct in Door County, Wisconsin. There are no existing records of the case, according to the initial brief, other than he was convicted.

 It has been reported Doubek was issued a Wisconsin Concealed Carry permit in 2016. In 2019, Wisconsin revoked the permit, claiming Doubek was ineligible because of the 1993 disorderly conduct conviction, which the Wisconsin DOJ claimed met the federal standard for a domestic violence conviction.

The Wausau Pilot contends there are court records claiming Doubek broke into his estranged wife's trailer in 1993, waiving a board and shouting threats. Those may have been claimed; however Doubek was not charged with or convicted of domestic violence. He was convicted of disorderly conduct. In the brief by Doubek's lawyer, it becomes clear the claims of violence come from a charging document, not from a conviction document. From the brief:

For example, DOJ draws most of its “brute facts” from the charging document. DOJ draws them, however, not from the description of the crime in terms of the elements, but from a narrative that follows, which essentially consists of a regurgitation of a police report from the Door County Sheriff. These facts simply cannot be used.

The Supreme Court of the United States has set a precedent for these sort of cases. What matters is what the person is convicted of, not what they were charged with, or even what actually happened. Using that standard, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found the Wisconsin DOJ had improperly revoked Doubek's Concealed Carry permit. From the court decision

Wisconsin law provides that an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law may not hold a license to carry a concealed weapon (CCW license). Federal law, in turn, prohibits firearm possession for anyone who has been convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under state or federal law. In this case, we address whether a conviction for disorderly conduct under Wis. Stat. § 947.01(1) (2019-20)1 qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. We hold that disorderly conduct is not a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under federal law, and therefore does not disqualify a person from holding a CCW license.

This makes perfect sense, if we are to be a nation ruled by law, and not by men (or women). 

The Lautenberg Amendment was passed in 1996, three years after Doubek's conviction. Courts have ruled the Lautenberg Amendment is not an Ex Post Facto law, because the penalty is for actions which occur after the law was passed.  Many have argued the restriction of Second Amendment rights is a punishment in itself. 

The Lautenberg Amendment has not resulted in lower rates of intimate partner homicides.  

From 1976 to 1996, the number of intimate partner homicides decreased significantly, particularly among black males and black females. From 1997 to 2019, the numbers have remained flat at about 1300 per year, which would result in a slight decline in rates, given an increasing population. During the same period, the overall homicide rates decreased dramatically until about 2014, then started rising. 

In 1976, the percent of intimate partner homicides committed with firearms was 71%.

In 1996, the percent of intimate partner homicides committed with firearms was 61%

In 2013, the percent of intimate partner homicides committed with firearms was 50%.

This correspondent has not found rates beyond 2013.

At the same time, the number of firearms in the United States more than doubled.  1976 140 million (218.4 mil population) .64 per capita to 2013  363 million (316 million) 1.15 per capita.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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