MPR Goes to the Fair: Amy Klobuchar and Susan Gaertner on crime, law and justice in Minnesota

Midday | Interviews | Call-In | Legacy Amendment Digitization (2018-2019) | Social Issue | Law | MPR Goes to the Fair
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In a live broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair, district attorneys of Ramsey County, Susan Gaertner; and Hennepin County, Amy Klobuchar; join Gary Eichten to discuss trends and issues in Minnesota law enforcement.

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(00:00:04) And good afternoon. Welcome to midday here on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten today. We're broadcasting live from the Minnesota Public Radio booth at the Minnesota State Fair. The fair opened this morning, as always. It runs through Labor Day. So if you're coming out to the fair, make sure you come by our booth were located near the corner of Judson and Nelson right across the street from the high dive and there are activities here at the booth all the way through Labor Day pick up one of those Nifty MPR fans with the stations on it take a look at the goodies that are for sale and make sure you enter the drawing for the Vespa. Somebody's going to win the new scooter and may as well give yourself a chance State Fair of course is all about tradition and we certainly have our state fair Traditions here on midday. We were talking to Mark Seeley off the air last hour about the weather and we'll be broadcasting that program for those of you on the radio here that program at 9:00 tonight. Meanwhile this hour back by popular demand for their fourth straight. Dear ladies and gentlemen to of Minnesota's top crime fighter's are here to take your questions joining us here on the stage Ramsey County attorney Susan Garrett Nur and Hennepin County attorney. Amy Klobuchar. Susan Gardener is serving her third term Amy Klobuchar her second term when they were first elected. They were the first women to serve as County attorney in Minnesota's two largest counties talking about the criminal justice system this hour if you'd like to join our conversation those of you here at the fair just come on up Curtis has a microphone like to get your question on the on the air. If you're listening on the radio, give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or you can use our online service go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. Thanks for coming back again this year another (00:01:54) run. Well, it's great to be here Gary. We're having fun. My daughter Abigail is here with her friend Anna and I'm hoping they're going to Some food on a stick pretty soon. That's that's their plan for the day. They're ready went on one ride. And I think the ride comes first before the (00:02:10) food. Absolutely Susan Garrett nor are we safer today than we were at this time when we did the show last year. (00:02:16) Yeah, I would say so I would say that we're safer this year than we were last year and safe heard last year than we were the year before. I think that there's been a tremendous collaborations to Mendes work put into the issue of Public Safety and I do think we're safer Amy Klobuchar. Well, I know in Hennepin County in the last five years we've seen a 25% drop in serious crime that being said we know there's still a lot of challenges out there. We see gang violence continues to be a problem. We're having white collar crime and identity theft mounting problems and then just general crime is still there. No matter how good the statistic sound when you're a victim of crime. You still want help and you still want things to change and we're working on that. (00:03:00) We got to say do people feel safer. Today than they did (00:03:05) last year. Well, that's an interesting question and I have to believe they do because when I go to events like National Night Out talk to community members. I'm pleased about how many questions I get about stolen bicycles and noisy radios and things like that. And those are important things and I'm glad that that's what is concerning. A lot of people rather than telling me that there was a drive-by shooting down the street. So I do think people feel safer. One thing I think has changed though is people's definition of what's enough what's safe enough has changed. I mean, I think there's really high expectations on county attorney's such as myself in a me to really make things better and people are demanding more and we're giving them more. Yeah, I think the poll numbers when people are surveyed have shown that it isn't as big as concern as it was years ago, but from a public safety standpoint, we want to make sure that we continue our work. And we don't back down and what we've accomplished because it makes a difference for everyone for our schools for the neighborhood's real estate values go up when there's a decline in crime kids are able to go to school and do better. And so we want to continue that focus and I also would say in certain neighborhoods like some of the things were experiencing in North Minneapolis right now, you ask them that they're not going to feel that way. So while we've seen General Improvement, we still have areas that we need to work on (00:04:30) if you have a question about the criminal justice system for counties county attorney's Amy Klobuchar Susan Gartner in your here at the fair just come on up to the mic Curtis is standing by those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or again. You can also send in your question or comment online go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. I think we have a planted question (00:05:01) Curtis. Do we have On doing do we have a planted (00:05:05) question here? I guess we're still negotiating the terms of the question. If there's anyone else who wants to ask (00:05:13) questions. (00:05:15) All right. Okay. Well, let's (00:05:22) What does the country no, wait, what's this (00:05:27) word (00:05:32) County at honoree do to make sure kids are what what does the County Attorney do to make sure your kids are safe now. I want to note for the record before Amy answers that that I'm glad my daughter's aren't out here because they would ask way tougher tricky questions. No softballs from my teenager. Exactly. But Amy, I'll let you answer a question for very good. Well, I hope she knows what the County Attorney does to protect kids and make them safe. But you know, when we look at some of the most difficult cases that we get in the office every day a lot of them involve kids as victims and those are some of the most heartbreaking cases whether their abuse cases within a home or whether their kids that have been attacked in some way and so that is a very important area for our office, but I think in a Broader way and both Susan and I have been focused on this is how to prevent kids from getting in trouble and being victims of crime in the first place. And one of the things that we found is when we looked at the serious records of kids have gotten in a lot of trouble they've been missing school and they start to get in trouble when they're not in school. So truancy keeping kids in school working for prevention on the school basis as opposed to the courthouse and keeping kids in the classroom and not in the courtroom. We found to make a big difference when we look at those kids and what can happen to them. I tell seniors when I talked to them about this, you know, we all have an interest in this we want these kids to go to school. We want them to graduate. We want them to get jobs that way they pay our social security and so it's really a community concern. It's not just about kids that we keep them in school Susan. Well it Abigail I I agree with your mom. The truancy is a big part of keeping kids safe and that's why back in 1995. We kicked off our truancy Intervention Program a lot more kids. A lot more days in school because of it. Another thing we're doing more of right now to is worrying about runaways because unfortunately a lot of times at risk kids do end up on the streets when they end up on the streets, they become victims themselves or perhaps victimize others. And so we're worrying about keeping kids not only in school. But at home where they belong (00:07:46) sir, you have a question, please. Yes, I don't want to make this a political question, but I'm curious post 9/11 whether the county attorney's feel we have issues with our rights, whether it's the USA Patriot Act or more at the federal level. I think just your thoughts. (00:08:00) Well some of the parts of the Patriot Act I think need to be changed and there's been concerns about that. I'll have to say that on our level the state level the County Attorney level. We haven't been dealing with that as much a lot of the laws in the things that we work with have stayed the same and when I look at what the mission is of our office, you know, it's not just to protect the safety of the people of Hennepin County. It's also to protect their rights and to make sure that people get information when they need it. The things aren't secret and we try to be very transparent in our office. You can look on our website and app in attorney dot-org and we tried very hard to get information out there about what we're doing in the office and then also Minnesota has been on the Forefront of civil liberties. And in the way we handle court cases where one of two states in the country that requires that interrogations be videotaped and we think it's worked really well as prosecutors people didn't expect it to work but it protects people's rights, obviously whenever they're picked up for a crime, you know, nothing's going to go. In terms of how the interrogations handled but we found it helpful when we're in court so we can show the jury what happened with the interrogation that was professionally conducted and that's just one example, but Minnesota, I'd believe it's been on the Forefront in terms of how we've handled our Public Defense System to make sure that people's rights are protected when they're in court and as a prosecutor, I want to make sure that continues we don't want to have unequal balance. We want to have fairness or trust breaks down in the entire system. Susan Gartner civil liberties. I think that the most direct effect that we've seen in County attorneys offices from 9/11 and the the laws that have been passed instead of actually in the in the area of resources. That's where the biggest pressure has been on us is because as the federal and state governments worry more and more as they should worry about international issues and terrorism. Some of the dollars have come out of the kinds of things that we need to do and when I talk about homeland security security starts in your home and the less resources we have to work on issues like domestic abuse. Or Homeland Security means the streets need to be safe and we have less money to prosecute gun cases and things like that. That's where I worry, but we don't see the direct effect of on the civil liberties issue. (00:10:12) Go to the caller here Bill your question, please. (00:11:18) Well, that's a great question. And I think that's where we should be focused. Obviously a lot of that work is done on the federal level. The drug kingpins are sometimes International kingpins or in other states and we need to work with the US attorney's office at justice department on those issues. I will say we in Minnesota have a different approach to drug deal and I think that's good drug users as opposed to other states. And in fact other states are starting to look at what we're doing. I think we need to continue at that is in our drug court in Hennepin County for the users were focused on treatment and we try to get them into treatment sooner rather than later. We try to get them help and so they can turn their lives around a lot of other states didn't do that in the last 10 years. I looked at putting even users in prison for long periods of time. I don't think that's been a good thing. So we need to continue that double approach going. To the dealers in a tough way. I think unless tell someone lives in a neighborhood where the kids are trying to go to school and they're trying to dealers out on the corner trying to get them hooked on drugs. You really don't know how bad it can be. And so to me you got to look at the Dealer's differently than you have to look at the user so you can try to cut off that need and then also go after as you said sir, the drug kingpins the people that are really making the money off that Susan Gardner, I do think that there is a lot of effort to get at the ones who are actually bringing the drugs in producing the drugs selling the drugs, but there also needs to be targeted enforcement at the street level to and I think that that's what's been happening in st. Paul. They focused a lot of energy on a operation Sunrise. They called it where they focused on open drug-dealing on the streets street corners, which is really having an impact on the community and literally kids were walking to their school Jackson Elementary past drug-dealing open drug-dealing morning noon and night and they really really focused on that. Took those dealing dealers off the street and the neighborhood is a better place because of it and it's that kind of targeted enforcement that's really going to make a difference in the community that we need to focus on (00:13:21) are too many relatively low-level drug offenders being sent to prison thus filling up the prisons with people who maybe aren't all that much of a threat to society. (00:13:35) Well, that is the million dollar question that was raised this year. And I think we'll be hopefully raised again. Next year is are we putting too many people in prison for drug offenses we have now got up to almost a quarter of our prison space being used by people who are convicted of drug offenses. And a lot of those of course are really serious dealers who really belong in prison, but we have to ask ourselves are all of them deserving of our Precious Precious prison space and that's a discussion that the legislature needs to have and I believe on the Federal But where you see these really long sentences that people talk about Minnesota doesn't have sentences like you see in the federal level. I think that's something that needs to be looked at. Some of those sentences on the federal level on the local level. I think it's worth looking at there may be things we can do, you know people complete treatment they're doing better to make sure that they are in a place maybe a less secure facility that's less expensive things like that. I do get worried. If we go too far again for these neighborhoods, you know, you think you're being compassionate but we don't want to go back on what we've done in terms of the public safety and the work that we've done but I know there's going to be a lot of work going on this session to look at the drug sentences to see if we can be more creative with it. But at the same time I feel so strongly for some of these neighborhoods that I need to keep protecting them and make sure that that we don't get more kids hooked on (00:14:57) drugs. We're talking with the county attorney's Minnesota's two largest counties Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar Ramsey County attorney Susan Gartner talking about the criminal justice system those of you here in the audience if you've got a question, Come on up and we'll get you on the air. If you're listening on the radio, give us a call six, five. One two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or again. You can use our online service go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question Kelly your question, please. Good afternoon. Who's guarding? Are you want to (00:15:55) start boy? I don't have my stats all here. I can tell you that for similarly situated similarly sized communities across the country. St. Paul is very very safe. And that's been something that's been great to be able to start with that base and try to make it even safer. But the specifics of how we compare across the board other than were safer. I can't couldn't tell you Amy Klobuchar and I guess Minnesota is a whole. It has a lower crime rate, even when you look at the demographics, then a lot of other states, including our metropolitan area. And as I mentioned before Hennepin County seen a 25% decrease in part one serious crimes in the last five years rest of the state 8% decrease and so while we are a large urban area metropolitan area, which is going to have more than its fair share of crime when you look at other areas of the state. We've seen a significant decrease in I really like to see that continued. A lot of it's been a partnership the good work of the police departments throughout our County as well as the community when a community gets engaged and it's out there, you know planning flowers and doing block parties and caring about each other that makes a difference because criminals don't want to come there and people are looking out for each other. So it's that combined work police prosecutors community and the legislature looking at some of the sentences has made a difference to (00:17:17) Steve has said in an online question for you Steve asks, what is your opinion regarding the right of law-abiding Minnesota citizens to carry a concealed weapon Amy Klobuchar (00:17:27) Gophers. Well, first of all, I want to make clear that I didn't like that law the concealed carry law. I think it went through five leave even the governor is now saying he'd like to see some changes to it. I don't think anyone like seeing these big signs on when they go into their places of worship Hennepin County Medical Center, we treat the most gunshot wounds in the entire State and for a while there we fear that they're going to have He's in there as well. That being said I want to say that I don't ever believe that the people carrying the guns were necessarily going to be going out there killing people and I don't think that's happened. I don't think that's any surprise my fear with that law has more that guns would get in the wrong hands getting the hands of kids and we've seen this happen when kids pick up a gun that sitting on a kitchen counter and they could pick up a gun at there's more guns out in the community gun gets stolen more likely so it's not a surprise to me that we've seen that we haven't seen a huge increase in violence because of this law my major concerns right now with the law and the way it changed is the fact that we just have concerns with places that feel that they should be able to ban guns when they can't I'd like to see some changes there and I know some people the legislature would like to see changes and also just making sure the message that we're sending is not to Children. Hey, you can use gun to resolve your problems. And those are things I think We need to continue to work on Susan Gartner. I've been somewhat surprised at the non-impact. The law has had to be honest. There was a lot of controversy. We have neither seen lots of people using guns in their self-defense as it was promoted to be nor have we seen concealed permit carriers using guns and crime of violence? What I wish is that all the energy and the political will and time that's been spent discussing. This issue could have been diverted into some of the more fundamental issues. We have in the area of gun violence keeping illegal guns off the street and providing consequences for illegal guns and supporting the criminal justice system to do just that which is what we're trying to do. Yeah, and I think the focus when you look at something like that it should when I look at things as a crime fighter you think okay. Does this make things better? Is this going to make things better? Has it made things worse know except for the idea that it again has focused our energy as Susan said on those things and there's a lot of other things we could be talking. In about (00:19:52) I wanted to ask you about the the civil commitment. Controversy at this point as I understand it. The the latest policy is that the Corrections Department is referring all of the serious civil commitment questions to you folks and then you're supposed to decide whether to try to get somebody committed to st. Peter or not. How's that workin up? (00:20:19) Well, I will tell you from our County's perspective. We got in Hennepin. We got a hundred and seven cases in December. We've been averaging about two or three for the years before that. And actually I said at the time I still say now we're glad that Department of Corrections has changed their policy in a sending us more cases. It should have happened beforehand and it is no surprise to me that when we looked at these cases we've decided to file petitions on a number of them. Some of them were still looking at some of them ended up the jurisdiction was in other counties, but so far we filed 30 petitions so far eight of those cases have concluded with commitments and when you Look at the numbers you can see why that policy had to change that being said commitment. You should know it's just us a very high standard that we have to meet only a small number of cases are going to meet that standard. We have to show that a sex offender is highly likely to reoffend and so we should look at the other laws as well. It's very expensive to do commitment. It's only covers a small number of the cases and there's the we're hopeful that there's going to be another way in addition to commitment that we can take care of some of these cases because these are certainly some of the most dangerous offenders and we don't want them out on the streets to Garner the civil commitment issue is something I've been dealing with for quite a while. It's been almost a decade since I handled the case of Dennis Linehan which some of you may have remember was sort of the poster child for why we need to put some people insecure hospitals and keep them there until they get better. They get well and we're safe to put them out on the street what I find most alarming about the Sent events is two things one how political this whole discussion is become and I always think that politics and Public Safety are not a good mix and I think this civil commitment issue is an example of that. It has created a public expectation. I think that there are all kinds of these people that we can put in the mental hospital in definitely that just isn't so as Amy has said it's really a small amount of people we do that too. We can do that to under the law. And so I just don't want anybody to think that this is the one way to keep us safe. It's an important way. We use it aggressively, you know handle these cases myself, but it isn't going to get every sex offender off the street. What we have to be doing is thinking about a more comprehensive approach to keeping us safe from sex offenders and that hasn't been really part of the discussion. (00:22:53) No, I know you've been talking about the need to move back to indeterminate. Sentences for sex offenders we're at right now, they're given a set period of time in prison and then they're released or are sent off to for civil commitment the in determinant. How would that (00:23:09) work? Well the way the difference between indeterminate sentencing which is what I've been saying we should go to a sex offenders and the way we do business now is right now the judge sentences the sex offender depending on how serious the one offense was and how long their criminal history score was and the judge goes to the box and then whatever that number is that's what the person goes away for in most cases what I'm suggesting what I'm proposing and I'm not alone in this the County attorneys Association has been very active in promoting. This idea is that you send someone a way kind of like the old day is kind of like on Law & Order, you know, 20 to life, you know that kind of thing and then you see how he does in prison and you give them a chance I say him because most of the sex offenders are men give them. Chance to get treatment and and do well in treatment and really turn things around and if he isn't interested not trying then you keep him in prison longer. Whereas if they make a genuine effort to turn themselves around there's some hope that they can actually be released from prison. It's an incentive to really change their lives and not just wait till the end of their sentence and then say, okay now you're out no matter how (00:24:22) dangerous you are Amy Klobuchar. Is this a good idea? (00:24:25) Well, we actually drafted a bill and our office did and work with the County attorneys Association to try to accomplish that last session. I think we're hoping that this session they'll be more thoughtful discussion about all these issues. The idea is it costs over $300 a day to civilly commit someone and you also have the issue that they are in definitely committed and you're there in a civil commitment process the idea of indeterminate sentencing would be looking at as part of their criminal action figuring out at the time what the sentence should be and then giving them That chance when the doctor examines them when the correction departments looks at them to see if they should continue in prison. Now, I believe we should continue our guidelines in the state. I think they've served us well in many ways but for the worst of the worst and some of these most serious sex offender, I think it's time to look at a different criminal sentencing system and Susan and I agree on this (00:25:20) sir your question, please think what we had a long time ago. We had a back in I don't know what you heard was we had a vampire killing was up in st. Cloud. This kid whose name was came. Tim. Tim was his name. Okay, and he took this kid from Foley and he killed him and then in they saying he still is going to be sent by Duluth. To prison up there. So the question is whether or not the the serious offenders are being treated or getting the kind of tough sentences they need is that what you're kind of getting at and how can they get a ship to another in like st. Cloud former Tory's that's another institution, right? All right. (00:26:10) Well the question of whether or not we're treating people seriously who do horrible things like you described there's been huge huge improvements. I've been a prosecutor now for 20 years. I say that with some hesitation because it makes me feel so old but I've been doing this so long, but when I first started Prosecuting murderers, we'd get a life sentence that meant 17 years. And then then as I continue to do it then then it was 30 years and now we can sometimes get life sentences that really mean life life without the possibility of parole. So I think as a community we really have made dramatic improvements in terms of the accountability and public safety for our senses. (00:26:52) Let's take another caller here Gary your question, please. (00:27:01) Oh, hey Gary. How (00:27:02) are you? Okay. All right. Thanks (00:28:10) Gary. Yeah, I believe in certain cases restorative justice really works. And the idea here is that you bring a case to a group of people who live in the area where the crime was committed? It's most helpful. I think for lower-level cases misdemeanor cases some lower-level felonies and a group of neighborhoods meet with neighbors meet with the offender and they say, you know, we think for your offense that you need to clean up our park in our neighborhood or you need to go back to where you committed that offensive the victim wants it to happen and fix her fence and I believe that it not only in the idea is to restore the neighborhood to what it once was but also to restore the offender we try to do that in the county in a more Global basis because obviously we're not going to be able to send every case to a program like this by having work squats go out for property offenders and fix up things in a neighborhood and the neighbors know that their tax dollars something's happening here and we've actually had some of the offender's want to keep finishing a job. When their sentence was done, they've asked for recommendations from the work crew Foreman. So there's been some really good things with this kind of concept which gets you takes it just out of the jail setting and back in the community and I'm hopeful that there will be funding for these programs. I do want to say it doesn't work for all cases. We're not going to with a you know, in our County we have 5,000 phony cases 12,000 juvenile cases, 5,000 adult felony cases a year not every neighborhood is going to be able to have a group like this not every neighborhood will want to see you have to use it for special situations and I think for those neighborhoods that want to get involved it's a good way to get the neighborhood's involved and to look at what they need to make their neighborhood better to redress the (00:29:52) crime Susan Gardener (00:29:53) the best thing about restorative justice programs, and there's a number of those in Ramsey County. And again, the as Amy said it's about restoring the community. That's the focus rather than punishing the offender. There are punishments that go With that but the focus again is on restoring the community the best thing about restorative justice programs, is it to work and and the want the best ones in Ramsey County are they work? Because the community is involved the criminal justice system cannot act alone the criminal justice system can't turn lives around in the same way that neighbors relatives friends and can concern Community Partners can so that's that's the best part of restorative justice is it brings us help to change people's lives and turn around the the offender and the community itself. (00:30:43) Tom's on the line with a question. Go ahead Tom. (00:31:24) Okay. Well, I'm not I'm not so sure it is going to make our jobs harder what we found we are responsible for felony. DWI is that's that's if you've done it three times in the past and you're on your fourth time around what we found with the felony felony DWI is is that most of those people are far beyond .08 when they're arrested there, you know at point one five over point to in other words very very high alcohol levels. So we don't see our caseloads being affected but in terms of the dollars and whether they're well spent there are a lot of accidents on our roads that are caused by drunk drivers if we save one life with this new standard, I'd have to say it's worth it. And the the idea of .08 is a number of accidents were caused by people with lower alcohol and on .10 and Susan said there are those are misdemeanors for the most part. They don't come into the county. Toughest in the metro area they do in some of the county attorney's offices in Greater Minnesota, but overall I was supportive of this change because I think it'll save lives and that's why the money was attached on the national level. That's why their states have adopted and in one of the most shocking things to me when I come in as county attorney's all the people that are injured and killed by drunk drivers more people get killed by drunk drivers every year in Minnesota the knives or guns or other forms of violence. I don't think people think about what that when they watch TV or see the news how serious is as and that's why our County attorneys Association sponsored the felony DWI bill, you know at some point enough is enough for DWIs in ten years. We have a guy right now, mr. Sherman with 23 DWIs. And this was the first time that he had a DWI that would be a felony because that law changed before that. He could never have gone to prison and we're aggressively pursuing that case a car in the hands of the guy like that is like gun (00:33:19) is DNA foolproof source of It's got the DNA in action off. He goes or Audi comes because guilty or (00:33:29) innocent. Well, I'm so obviously I'm glad you asked about DNA Gary because I know you know of my long-term interest in this I just I had to say I was the first prosecutor in Minnesota to put DNA evidence before a jury. I love this stuff. I absolutely love the stuff. It's great. The science is great. But what I want to say is that it is just as important for defendants and suspects as it is for people who we're trying to prosecute when we run a DNA test about one of the one out of three times. We find that we have the wrong suspect and then off they go without any kind of charge or facing Criminal Justice System consequences. And so it's really a tool for finding the truth. Really a tool for (00:34:17) justice. Is it foolproof Amy (00:34:19) Club? Well, you know in every case that we've had it's it's been a It and that's a standard. I lose when the judge looks at it and looks at what the evidence is in the case how the standard is it's one and you know, millions and billions of chances that this is the person and that's a standard that we use in court. But overall we have we had one case where a guy was a wrongly arrested was a eyewitness identification women have been raped you was wearing a Halloween mask took it out for a while. She saw a lineup picked out. This guy ends up in jail DNA test shows. No, it wasn't him. It was someone else someone else who's now convicted of two previous rape. So three rapes and also the wrong guy was running around the street. The right guy was in luckily. He quickly got out wasn't charged with a crime but it just shows as Susan mentioned what DNA can do it not only can convict the guilty. It can protect the innocent and I wanted to mention one other thing Gary with eyewitness ID because it's really the reason when you look across the country for the most wrongful convictions, we're doing something new in Hennepin County. Protect the rights of people on that is experimenting with a new kind of eyewitness identification where instead of showing all six pictures at once. We show them one at a time in four of our police jurisdictions who are trying it out Studies have shown that when people look at those pictures then they don't engage in relativism. They don't say well who looks most like the person I saw they say, is this the person or not and we've been having some success with that what I just want to get back to your the foolproof because I was obviously being facetious when I said it's foolproof. The science is excellent. It's very important evidence and I wish we had it in every case which leads me to what's kind of going on now and we prosecutors call it the CSI effect. Now, I've never seen the show CSI, but what I understand a lot of people watch it, I have come so they come into our courtrooms to be jurors and they think where's the DNA? Where's the DNA? And so there's some concern that maybe we've typed this a little too much. All (00:36:19) right. What about now these eyewitnesses? This is a this is a fascinating. How often guesstimate how often does somebody stand up and say by golly. I saw that he's the guy and of course, it's not the guy at all. Well, (00:36:33) we don't have those numbers. Unfortunately, we've had so few incidences where we've known that happen anecdotal evidence, but there was a study done by a professor and Iowa a professor Wells where he showed a video of a bomb being set basically and then he showed and there was a person on it and he showed it to 250 people and show these pictures and says, okay which one of these did it and every one of them pick someone. Well, it was none of those people and one of the things that we're doing with this which Minnesota again is way ahead of a lot of states are police officers always say this person may or may not be in this lineup. We're also doing experimenting with double-blind where we have a different officer in the room showing the lineup pictures in the officer that's working on the case just in case there's any kind of inadvertent accidental indication of who it would be that's a little more Difficult with resources to do that as particularly in smaller department, but it's something we might be able to address with technology by having the same officer on the case who doesn't see the pictures while the witness is looking at the pictures. And again a lot of this is done as prosecutors. Our job is not just to put someone in jail. Our job is to put the right person in jail. And so I'm very pleased with the work going on in Minnesota that Susan's doing that our staff is doing in that really the police have been willing to step up and do to try to make sure that we're not convicting anyone. Who's (00:37:53) innocent Jews Gartner. Do you get the sense when you go before a jury that if you've got an eyewitness by golly they're going to bleep be believed a hundred percent of the (00:38:01) time. Well, that's a good question because in 20 years as a prosecutor. I've never had a case where all I had was an eyewitness. The fact of the matter is that eyewitness identification Czar usually just the beginning and that the officers work to get other evidence that either supports or goes against the eyewitness identification and jurors are Art You Gotta Give jurors credit, they know that people make mistakes and they're looking for any indication one way or the other is whether this ID is On Target. And so I give jurors a lot of credit for starting those things (00:38:36) out Alan quick question here. We don't have a lot of time left, but like to get your question on go ahead, (00:38:41) please. Oh, wow, I didn't set up this question a lot of planted (00:38:53) questions from you today. Actually, (00:38:57) I did not do it even my daughter. I really wish you and her (00:38:59) friend had not come up and let me tell you go ahead Alan. Okay. (00:39:58) Okay, you know I this is a little harder than our usual last fair question. What's your favorite fair food, but I will say this I think that this trend of passing down the buck-passing down the cost to local municipalities and counties. You're not just seeing it with DWI. It's happening everywhere as a lot of the federal money's going away State money those Clinton cops that money has gone away and it's a big concern in law enforcement as counties and cities are scrambling in a holding bake sales for the sheriff's dog and things like that not in our County. I heard that story in a rural County but these things are a big concern and I think I'm hoping our that the political Powers look at this and I know we're going to be over there advocating for it that then we make sure that the First Responders of people on the front line whether they be police or prosecutors have the money that they need as for felony. DWI. Nothing too surprising. We've had I think over 300 of those cases now in our office that sounds a lot to people but there's a lot of people with a lot of DWIs one of the good things. Fart, we haven't had a lot of those guys come back if they did were on the lower end. They did workhouse time prisons hanging over their head some women as well obviously and we haven't seen a lot of them coming back. So we're hopeful it's going to have a deterrent effect because they don't want to go to (00:41:11) prison Susan Gartner (00:41:14) cost shifts. It's a huge issue. In fact, I just survived my budget hearing this morning at the county level, which is why I'm dressed in this goofy trial lawyer suit instead of like a state fair goer and it was brutal and the county is struggling with all the public safety costs that have been shifted from the federal government and the state government down to county taxpayers. It's a huge issue (00:41:37) real quick (00:41:37) question. Kind of lighter note. I'm just wondering if you were surprised that Oprah Winfrey was picked for a jury when she served out. That's a good question question. I've picked I've picked a lot of juries. I wouldn't let Oprah. I don't know. I don't know what the issue is. She will be the leader of the jury. Everyone's going to be looking at her. Everyone's going to want to kind of get to know her and you can really thwart the process when that happens for either end. It it what it does is inject a lot of risk in the process for both sides. (00:42:13) Are you folks going to run for re-election? Go (00:42:16) first at this point. That's what I plan to. Do. You never know if anything else opens up, but I love my job, and I'm really proud of the work. Our staff is done. Well, I'm havin fun and I think doing a good job, and unfortunately, I don't even have to answer that question for two years. I've got two more years of art. We have two more years of our terms, but hopefully the people willing we'll we'll see you again. (00:42:44) You come back to the fair next (00:42:45) year. Yeah. We'll come back the fair no matter what absolutely we'll come back every year with it uplifting crime-fighting behind and it's my excuse to eat footlong hot dog, so you're darn right? I'll be here. Hey, thanks so much for coming. (00:42:57) Okay. Thank you are gues this hour Ramsey County attorney Susan guarantor Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar joining us on this first day of the Minnesota State Fair like to thank all of you who've been with us this well mostly for a full hour. We'll be back tomorrow with midday from 11 to 1. So we hope you'll be able to tune. For now, I'm Gary eichten and back to the studios for more programming.

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