MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An appeals court is calling on Wisconsin lawmakers to scrap a requirement that judges consider sentencing guidelines when punishing people who commit certain felonies.
The reason: the state commission that produced the guidelines no longer exists.
Lawmakers eliminated the Wisconsin Sentencing Commission in a cost-saving measure in last year's state budget.
But the District 2 Court of Appeals says lawmakers failed to repeal a law requiring judges to consider the commission's guidelines when they sentence defendants for 11 felonies.
Many judges have stopped considering the guidelines during sentencing and that is giving defendants an avenue to appeal.
The appeals court says that's a harmless error if the sentencing judge considers the same factors required under the now-defunct guidelines.