Wisconsin appeals court allows publication of ‘dangerous’ juvenile’s name
WISCONSIN — A trial judge may publicize the name of a 14-year-old suspect he considered “dangerous” to help police find the youth. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Milwaukee held in mid-November that the juvenile’s right to confidentiality was outweighed by public safety concerns and his need for treatment.
In early October, after Peter Burnley, a juvenile charged with threatening another youth with a gun, escaped from a detention center, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher decided that publicity might help the police find him. Hansher, quoted by the Associated Press said, “The whole purpose of (the juvenile code) is to rehabilitate the juvenile and we can’t rehabilitate him unless we have in him court.”
On October 8, Burnley’s attorney filed a petition with the state Court of Appeals in Milwaukee to stay the publication of the name until an appeal could be heard. She said that neither she, the police nor the media requested that her client’s name be publicized.
In mid-November, the appellate court dismissed the stay permitting his name to be made public.
(In re the Petition for leave to Appeal from a Non-final order and for Temporary Relief)