ST. PAUL—A state bill designed to restrict fledgling efforts to allow video coverage of Minnesota court sentencings passed through a House committee Wednesday — with critics arguing it would hinder cooperation by witnesses and victims, and proponents arguing it would give the public additional understanding and confidence in the court process.
ST. PAUL — A longtime Minnesota litigator has become the new head of the state's American Civil Liberties Union. John Gordon, 69, who since February has been the interim legal director for the agency, was appointed this week to head the nonprofit, nonpartisan group. Gordon was a lawyer with Faegre Baker Daniels, one of the largest law firms in Minneapolis, from 1974 to 2014; he became partner at the firm in 1981. While there he worked on a range of cases, largely in civil commercial litigation — everything from personal injury to trust and estate cases.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's annual statewide crime statistics, released this week, reveal no big changes in the overall violent crime rate. But they do report a record-tying year of fatal police shootings, and a striking jump in sex-trafficking arrests in 2016. Violent crimes — including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults — increased 0.9 percent last year compared with the previous year, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The BCA tracks data reported to it directly from the state's law enforcement agencies.