"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Prosecution wants to drop charges but can't?

Justin Anderson, prosecutor
The local corporate media could be doing a better job reporting on the case involving the high school principal. The coverage has been superficial.
Maybe a "Q & A" format could be used to broaden the understanding of this unpleasant affair. I can't imagine anything more unpleasant.
A better job by the media would help discourage mere speculation, i.e. gossip, among the public. Would it be out of line for the media to try to get some public statements from the defense side? We see defense attorneys on the HLN television network all the time picking apart cases.
It is always very important to try to understand the defense side. The defense often wins.
Therefore we cannot assume that the prosecution and law enforcement side of the case monopolizes the truth. We got a big revelation about that on Friday (4/11) with the front page article about the total exoneration of Todd Hoffner. Hoffner is, as you most certainly know, that former Minnesota State University-Mankato football coach who may again be the football coach there. The prosecution went all nutzoid with perverted thoughts about what Hoffner had done. Keep an eye on prosecutors for overzealousness.
In Morris we have the Grant County attorney to deal with. That's a pretty obscure position, being Grant County attorney. That individual would probably like the limelight some. He'd like some notches in his holster.
Grant County is a pretty barren and non-descript place compared to Morris. We have the grand University of Minnesota-Morris. What does Grant County have? I'm not sure - it's really just a place that you drive through.
The earliest impulses of the Grant County attorney in our local celebrated case now appear to be just that: impulsive. What else might we expect from Grant County, which might just as well be home to the Mayberry deputy?
The word on the street in Morris Friday was that "the prosecution wants the charges dropped, but the defense attorney won't let them." I heard this from a person who is a lawyer by profession.
Unless our area legal community is just starting to fall apart, I have to take seriously statements like this. When a rumor like this comes to the attention of the corporate media, i.e. the newspaper and radio station, maybe they could help illuminate. They are not up to that. They just want to sell advertising.
There is only one grocery store in Stevens County and yet we need all that advertising. Do we have pea-sized brains or what? We must have pea-sized brains if we actually believe the prosecution cannot drop the charges.
Have some coffee and then ask yourself: Who else but the prosecution has any power to drop charges? How could the defense side have any leverage in this? Well, it doesn't.
We are left to analyze the rumor for what it really might mean. It took me about ten seconds to come up with a reasonable theory. And it is: The prosecution wants to drop charges but wants the defense side to agree that there will be no counter action by the defense.
Of course the defense isn't going to agree to that. The defense is representing a man whose life will never be the same. He has been totally smeared by the power of the state. People who represent the state - and that includes the police - get so intoxicated on their power, get to feeling so self-righteous, they forget the consequences of their actions.
You might think: My, a dropping of the charges would be a win for the defense! If it's technically a win, it does nothing to put Craig Peterson's life on track again. His life may never get totally on track again, and it's in the recognition of that reality that attorney Robert Dalager is properly motivated. Kudos to him. He'd be negligent if he just stood by as charges were dropped and figured "well, that's it." It most certainly is not "it."
Many of you with the pea-size brains might counter by saying: "Well, the principal got himself in this mess with his questionable behavior." Yes, he may have shown questionable behavior as we all do, because we are all God's children and are sinful.
The issue here is the power of the state to ruin someone's life. The issue is the formal charges.
Minus the charges, the worst that could have happened to Mr. Peterson is that some rumors could have floated back to Supt. Scott Monson, who then would have administered something like a tongue-lashing behind closed doors. Life would have gone on. Peterson's career could have gone on. Any bad habits in his personal life could conceivably have caught up with him, and maybe he'd have to change jobs.
He could have cleaned up his personal life if that was a problem. We all have problems and human failings. The state with its awesome power should intervene only when necessary. Some prosecutors (and police) ought to be punched in the balls. (I'm making this point rhetorically, so don't go charging me with making terroristic threats.)
If this Grant County fountain of wisdom wants to drop the charges, why? Does he not feel that first degree criminal sexual conduct was committed? If he does feel this was the offense, then most certainly he should stay on course with the charges. If he doesn't, then should we accept that this whole thing has been some sort of bizarre charade?
Oh my, if it's a charade, then Mr. Dalager should most certainly proceed with counter action, holding anyone's feet to the fire who deserves it. The people who persecuted Todd Hoffner in Mankato are having their feet held to the fire. Impulsive decisions are being punished.
The Mayberry deputy can go back to his normal work, of making sure "Otis" gets put to bed in his cell at the normal time.
Click on the permalink below to read the post I wrote about the Todd Hoffner situation at the time the story broke.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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