EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cyntoia Brown & the "51-To-Life" Project: Minnesota

This is the twenty-fourth in a series of posts on the "51-To-Life" Project. In Tennessee, if a juvenile is convicted of first-degree murder, there are two sentencing options: (1) life without the possibility of parole; or (2) life with the possibility of parole, with that possibility only existing after the juvenile has been incarcerated for 51 years. In this post, I will explain why Minnesota treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.  

In Minnesota, juvenile homicide offenders can still be given a sentence of life without parole. Courts, however, can also give juvenile homicide offenders a sentence of life with the possibility of parole. And, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 244.05(4)(b),

An inmate serving a mandatory life sentence under section 609.185, clause (3), (5), or (6); or Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 609.109, subdivision 3, must not be given supervised release under this section without having served a minimum term of 30 years.

Therefore, a juvenile homicide offender in Minnesota can be released after serving 30 years. As a result, Minnesota treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.



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Better than Tennessee maybe, but I'm still disappointed. MN is not my state (but you're getting close; really interested in reading about WI!), but I always considered MN very progressive, and they can do better than this.

Posted by: Beth | Jan 5, 2018 8:42:20 PM

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