Hennepin County, with a population of around 1.3 million, is Minnesota’s largest. In November, it elected Mary Moriarty as County Attorney. Moriarty ran as an “out” leftist committed to “restorative justice.” Residents of Hennepin County are now finding out what that means.
My colleague David Zimmer recounts Moriarty’s handling of two recent criminal cases. In the first, she dismissed charges against a 35-year-old Honduran man who was accused of raping his 14-year-old cousin, in the middle of trial. The dismissal was based on alleged misconduct by the assistant county attorney who was prosecuting the case–misconduct that would not have required dismissal, or even necessarily required replacing the offending prosecutor.
The second was still more outrageous. Last year, two teenagers carried out a home invasion in the course of which they murdered a Brooklyn Park woman. Former County Attorney Mike Freeman charged them as adults, but new County Attorney Moriarty reversed that decision:
Moriarty has said she is simply “following the science,” which she says is conclusive about adolescent brain development. According to Moriarty, the human brain is not fully developed until 25 years old. If this is the new standard, we are in for a long and painful ride.
“And as I said during the campaign, we need to treat kids like kids.”
Even when they are 17-year-old murderers.
Based on Moriarty’s decision, the two murderers will be prosecuted in Juvenile Court, spend two years in a rehabilitation program at the Red Wing juvenile prison, and then be released on probation until their 21st birthdays.
Prosecutors in the Hennepin County Attorney’s office are quitting:
Understandably, this doesn’t sit well with the prosecutor who had spent months preparing the case, or with the victim’s family. The prosecutor has voluntarily resigned from the case in protest, and the family and many community members have gone public with their outrage. A recent Star Tribune article details some of this outrage.
“Mary is doing this for the Black boys thinking she’s righting a [historical] wrong. But she’s opening up a can of worms,” said Latonya Reeves, chair of the Minnesota Civilian Public Safety Commission. “This is not what we meant when we said, ‘Save our kids.’”
It is a travesty, but who is ultimately to blame? The voters. They are getting what they voted for. David Zimmer concludes:
No one should be surprised by these decisions made by Moriarty. Voters went to the polls in November with a clear understanding of her intent, if elected. They knowingly chose progressivism over law and order. The rest of us are now forced to accept the consequences.