Minnesota judges are supposed to be fair and impartial in all that they do. Whether it is a state judge trying a case or a federal judge sentencing an individual, it is vital that judges rely on reason and not emotions in making their decisions. Unfortunately for two men who were recently convicted in a triple homicide, the U.S. district judge that sentenced them did so after crying while listening to emotional testimony of the violent crime.
Since the two men first became suspects in the March 2007 murders, they have always maintained their innocence. At their sentencing, each man told the families how sorry they were that their loved ones had died, but refused to apologize for something neither of them had done. Rather, one of the men said that police had given the media his name, which prompted people already within the prison system to fabricate a story to lessen their own sentences.
Both men insisted that they did not and were unable to receive a fair trial in the Minnesota court system. The men said that they would do whatever they needed to do to prove their innocence.
Before the judge handed down her sentence, she listened to the stories of two children who were in the house at the time of the home invasion and murder. The two children, who were 10- and 7-years-old at the time, told of two masked men breaking into their home and shooting their mother, her boyfriend and their older sister. She also allowed the teenage son of the boyfriend and the man’s mother to comment on the murders. The mother specifically told the judge, “As a mother, I know you can see and feel my pain.”
It was only after these emotionally-charged testimonials that the judge sentenced each man to 10 years in prison for a weapons charge and three consecutive life sentences.
Source: Star Tribune, “3 life terms for 3 lives taken,” Dan Browning, Nov. 14, 2011