The lead story on the Star Tribune Web site this morning is an enraging account of the release of repeat sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez, now charged with the abduction and murder of Dru Sjodin: “Psychologist raised Rodriguez warning.” This story documents a shocking rot in the administration of Minnesota’s criminal justice system. It is a story that will resonate if not produce repercussions in Minnesota for a long time to come.
The story strongly leads to the conclusion that under existing Minnesota law Rodriguez should have been referred for civil commitment proceedings at the conclusion of his prison sentence. The deeper issue is the injustice of Minnesota’s system, under which a repeat, violent sex offender like Rodriguez can be releasd after serving a 23-year sentence.
For a stark, current illustration of this injustice in action, see Edward Morrissey’s brilliant post on the sentencing of Salvador Pacheco yesterday by former Faegre & Benson partner Tony Leung for the cold-blooded murder of Mohamed Ahmed Salah in Minneapolis last August: “The definition of insanity, part II.”
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