People assume that judges strive to act in an objective and deliberative manner when presiding over courts in Minnesota. However, neuroscience and trends in judicial decisions suggest otherwise. Unconscious biases held by judges could make them issue unfair rulings even when they believe that they are acting fairly.
In Minnesota and throughout the country, there is an ongoing debate about accepting testimony from police officers with histories of misconduct. It was recently revealed that officers in Lake County, Florida, were making racist comments on a Facebook page. A letter from a variety of progressive groups was sent to the Florida state attorney asking that officers that make such comments not be called to testify at trial.
Those who are currently serving time in Minnesota prisons may be eligible for an early release because of the First Step Act. Beginning on July 19, 3,100 inmates will be released in an effort to comply with the law. Of those who are going to be released soon, about 900 will need to resolve immigration or other local charges. The Department of Homeland Security and other state agencies have discretion as to what happens to them.
Americans' cellphones and other digital devices contain a treasure trove of personal information, including private messages, phone call logs and browsing histories. Most of this data is mundane, but some of it could be incriminating if a person is being investigated for a crime. As a result, law enforcement agencies in Minnesota and across the U.S. are pushing to gain access to certain people's cellphones, making privacy advocates nervous.
According to statistics provided by the IRS, about 17% of taxpayers fail to comply with the tax code every year. It's individuals, not corporations, who account for three quarters of all tax fraud every year. Not all tax violations in Minnesota and other states, however, are considered tax fraud. In some cases, the agency recognizes that people make mistakes due to the complexity of the tax code. This is sometimes known as tax negligence.
Minnesota residents may be surprised to learn that a recent study showed that at least one immediate family member of 45 percent of adults in the United States have been incarcerated either in jail or in prison. This figure is a lot higher than what was previously estimated. The survey classified immediate family member as either a parent, sibling, spouse, grandparent or child.
Throughout history, many people in Minnesota and elsewhere have gotten away with various crimes. However, most of them didn't make the mistake of drawing unwanted attention to themselves by taunting that they would "never be caught" on social media.
Some people in Minnesota who have been convicted of crimes using eyewitness evidence may have been wrongly identified. In California, a man was exonerated of rape charges after serving eight years in prison when DNA evidence showed he did not commit the crime. The man had been identified by both the victim and a witness.
Many Minnesotans rent cars each year, and some people allow others who are not on the rental agreements to drive them. On May 14, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that people who are not on the rental agreements for the cars that they have borrowed still have privacy rights against warrantless searches of the vehicles.
In Minnesota, kidnapping is defined as confining a person or taking a person from one place to another without the consent of that person for one or more of four reasons. Those reasons are to hold that person as a hostage or for ransom, to terrify or harm the person, to assist in an escape or to keep a person in involuntary servitude.