After a triple shooting in Milwaukee, the shooter’s sister and girlfriend tried to cover up the homicide – using bleach to clean up blood and rubber gloves to collect spent bullet casings, prosecutors tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The women were arrested, but only the girlfriend was charged with a felony because of a state law that protects family members of criminal suspects from felony charges for destroying evidence, hiding relatives on the run, or even planting false evidence.
About a dozen other states have exceptions for family, but Wisconsin exempts more relatives and permits them to do more to thwart law enforcement without fear of prosecution. Prosecutors say the shooting in April is another example of how Wisconsin’s law handcuffs their ability to seek justice, protecting the people most likely to help a fugitive – their family. Attempts to close the loophole for family members who help felons have failed a a new bill that not only closes it but also stiffens penalties is back this year. A vote is expected soon in a legislative committee.