1. Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

    Minnesota Attorney Opts Against Charging Low Level Offenses Amid Pandemic

    Essentially, it looks like a lot of cases languishing without any resolution in sight. That’s untenable, Choi said, as defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. As a solution, the Ramsey County attorney’s office staff started informally opting not to charge some lower-level offenses.

    The practice became formalized last month. Under a temporary policy — set to end when the pandemic does — fifth-degree drug possession won’t be charged. While there will be room for exceptions, prosecutors won’t charge such offenses and will strongly consider dismissing older fifth-degree possession cases that have been idle in the system for months.

    The policy will allow the court system to better handle the mounting backlog of cases created by ...

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