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MN Supremes O.K. Punishing the Innocent


This ludicrous ruling turns our legal custom upside down:

If two Minnesotans own something together, and one of them commits a crime that causes that property to be seized, the innocent co-owner is not entitled to get it back, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week.

The case inolved a wife who was driving drunk. The husband argued that their vehicle should remain in his possession.

"The idea that someone who is completely, utterly innocent -- and the state never disputed that Mr. Laase was innocent -- can have their property taken away by the government is a scary thing," Karalus said.

The State attempts to justify this be pointing out that joint ownership is sometimes used as a means to get property back into the hands of the guilty. According to the MN Supremes, it is more important to punish the guilty than to protect the innocent.

In the absence of a constitutional challenge, which we do not have in this case, it is the role of the Legislature, not the courts, to rewrite the statute to provide greater protection for private property,