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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Judge Uses Staggered Sentences to Prevent Repeat DWIs

From St. Paul Pioneer Press: Isanti County Judge James Dehn in Cambridge has developed a way to reach the state's most dangerous drunken drivers — and cut their repeat offenses in half. His methods are becoming more common in Minnesota and are gaining interest nationwide.

"It's about treating them like human beings," Dehn said.

He dispenses justice on the installment plan. Instead of giving drunken drivers a traditional jail sentence, he spreads that sentence out over years, jailing them in July and December. Before each jail term, drivers must appear in court. If they can convince Dehn they've been sober, employed and otherwise reformed, he can allow them to skip the month in jail — until the next time.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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