Monday, October 31, 2005

Hennepin County rotating door "justice"

Mitch Berg of Shot in the Dark takes note of the sorry criminal "justice" system in Hennepin County, MN. This county includes Minnesota's largest city, Minneapolis. Here's Mitch's post. In his post he comments on a case of egregious judicial handling regarding alleged murderer Jeffrey Skelton. Rambix posted on this same case on July 17, 2005 with "Judical watch".

This is but one example, but an incredible one. The judge allowed Mr. Skelton to be released from custody despite being charged with murder in the 2nd degree and terroristic threats.

As any regular reader of Rambix and the Red Star or Shot in the Dark knows, Hennepin County, and Minneapolis in particular, experience violent crime out of proportion to the size of the area and demographics. Current mayor R.T. Ryback understands this now that he is the incumbent trying to hold his office in the upcoming elections. He's struggling with the crime issue, and he'll argue the that he's in a weak-mayor system, but he is nevertheless the figurehead.

This blog, in particular, is loaded with stories on weak judges and a forgiving judicial system, along with the resulting consequences. And the consequences are substantial.

Mitch writes:

Hennepin County's drive-through criminal justice system - put on display last summer in an incident in which a man accused of shooting a man five times in the arm, face, chest and groin was released on bail several times from Hennepin County custody - and proceeded to violate his bail several times (thankfully not hurting anyone in the process) - is a disgrace, the very definition of "catch and release" justice.
Judges in Minnesota are soon to be accountable to the voters; maybe that is the only way they will learn that we take this issue seriously.

Sgt. Christensen of the Minneapolis police department has something to say about this, as Rambix documents in this post: "Justice, Minnesota style".

Everyone seems to "get it" except the people who really matter - the judges.