You’re invited to attend an important discussion on how race impacts the future of our criminal justice system. The House Public Safety Committee I chair, along with the Judiciary Committee, will hold a public hearing titled “Race and the Law: How We Can Improve Equity in the Criminal Justice System” on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
There are significant racial disparities throughout our criminal justice system which lead to harmful outcomes for individuals and entire communities. We’ve seen some progress in addressing this problem – including the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission’s recent action to create a five-year presumptive cap on most probation terms. However, there’s a great deal of work left to do. I hope this hearing spurs urgency in action this year to avoid further harm to another generation of young people of color. As policymakers, we have a responsibility to thoughtfully and deliberately talk about race. If we don't, we run the risk of losing public legitimacy of our criminal justice systems.
Addressing racial inequities truly matters! Mitchell-Hamline will provide us a unique venue to have a robust discussion about potential solutions.
Several experts are scheduled to provide testimony on a variety of issues as they relate to race, including: Artika Roller, Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, who will discuss victims’ issues; Dr. Tracie Keesee, the Center for Policing Equity’s Vice President of Law Enforcement and Social Justice Initiatives will discuss policing issues; Perry L. Moriearty, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and Hennepin County District Court Judge Tanya Bransford will discuss pretrial and trial issues; and Rob Stewart, Executive Director of the Minnesota Justice Research Center will discuss post-conviction issues.
The hearing is open to the public and is free to attend. Once we adjourn, you’re invited to stick around for a reception with our expert testifiers. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.
WHAT: Minnesota House of Representatives joint hearing of the Judiciary & Civil Law and Public Safety & Criminal Justice Reform Committees
WHEN: Wednesday, January 29, 5 - 7 p.m.
WHERE: Mitchell Hamline School of Law Auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul
As always, feel free to contact me with your input on this or any other topics important to you. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.