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HomemediaString of plea deals from Minneapolis DA outrages families of victims, draws...

String of plea deals from Minneapolis DA outrages families of victims, draws concern from legal experts

A string of controversial plea deals from a Minneapolis district attorney has been met with outrage by the families of murder victims and sparked concern from legal experts who say the move could exacerbate crime.

“The types of plea deals offered by Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty are inconsistent with the demands of justice,” Tim Rosenberg, a Bradley fellow at Stanford’s Constitution Law Center, told Fox News Digital.

The families of victims of crime told the Star Tribune earlier this week that the plea deals indicate a pattern where they are told prosecutors want probation instead of prison sentences. They said they feel retraumatized by the court proceedings and suggested prosecutors tend to advocate more for the defendant than the victim.

Sherrice Barnett, whose son was killed by a teenager, said she was shocked when the defendant avoided time behind bars. She assumed, given state guidelines, that the only reasonable outcome was prison.

In June, two teenage boys, Jordan Deontre McFarland and Monte Dondada Wise, were charged after a man was shot and killed inside a parked car in Minneapolis. While Moriarty’s office intends to seek prison for McFarland, Wise may receive up to two years at a youth detention facility followed by probation.

Ben Michael, an attorney at M & A Criminal Defense Attorneys, said the disparity in the treatment of the two boys may pose a “bigger issue.” He surmised that Moriarty must have clear insight into the motives and dynamics involved to make such a move.

“Plea deals are, perhaps unfortunately, a major part of our modern justice system,” he said. “The entire legal system, from prosecutors to public defenders to judges, is hugely overworked. Because of this, legal professionals turn to plea deals in order to get cases dealt with quickly so they can get to the next one.”

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Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.

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