The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 22, 2014

GPS seen as weapon against domestic assaults

Rep. Clark Johnson authors bill in House

(Continued)

“The fees just drive me crazy,” he said.

Sometimes, when a client has a 50-50 case, the extra costs can be the tipping point that persuades them to plead guilty, he said.

McDermott, the prosecutor, said judges sometimes allow these fees to be included in any fines levied along with conviction.

Cutcher was also concerned about defendants inadvertently triggering the threshold, especially in smaller cities like Mankato.

And given defendants’ presumption of innocence, is it fair to violate their privacy and right to free movement without a trial?

Erickson noted that the program is voluntary for defendants.

McDermott said once the justice system has to weigh public safety against individual rights, defendants will lose some of their constitutional protections.

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