Wisconsin appellate court rejects most of shaming sentence


MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Wednesday threw out part of a woman’s shoplifting sentence that required she tell the management of any store she entered that she was on supervision for the offense.

Markea Brown, 28, of Milwaukee, pleaded guilty in 2018 to felony retail theft for helping steal $2,655 worth of merchandise from Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who sentenced Brown to 15 months in prison and two years of extended supervision, said he feels that “embarrassment does have a valuable place in deterring criminality.”

The appeals court said it doesn’t believe that a broad public notification requirement promotes rehabilitation and it could make it hard or impossible for Brown to buy groceries or other necessities if she is asked to leave those stores.

“We do not see where such a requirement would start and stop,” the court said.

The appellate court did uphold Schroeder’s condition that Brown not go to the Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall during her supervision, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“The condition is narrowly tailored to the physical location of Brown’s crime,” the court wrote. “Moreover, it is reasonably related to Brown’s rehabilitation, as it will remove her from the temptation of reoffending there, which, in turn, protects the victim from further theft.”

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