Scott Newman letter: My bills address a judicial and prosecution problem

Letter writer criticizes issue Judges and prosecutors go easy on repeat offenders.

Reader Opinion letter
Reader Opinion letter
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On March 15, a St. Paul woman was found dead by first responders after she had been set on fire. The culprit was a 47-year-old man who was supposed to have been civilly committed due to mental illness last year, but it was stayed by a Hennepin County Judge .

There are a lot of reasons for the spike in crime rates, but one reason that is not talked aboutc

We have seen this sort of thing happen over and over and over and over . Judges and prosecutors go easy on repeat offenders, then those offenders go on to commit more crimes.

I have two bills that will address this ongoing problem:

  • First,  Senate File 3448  requires a jury review in cases where judges decide on more lenient sentences. Sometimes there are good reasons for judges choosing lighter sentences than guidelines recommend, but a jury should review the appropriateness of those decisions. It is important for accountability and transparency.
  • Second,  Senate File 3478  requires county attorneys to charge cases where probable cause exists. In cases where they don’t prosecute, they must explain why. Again, this will add an extra layer of transparency and accountability to the process.

Judges and prosecutors have a duty to uphold our constitution and prosecute criminals. Those who do not are failing in that duty, and often it puts the public and greater risk.
Victims and public safety must be our foremost concerns.


Scott Newman
State Senator — District 18

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