On Friday, Derrick Thompson, who is charged with 10 counts of criminal vehicular murder, made his first court appearance while using a wheelchair. In Minneapolis, the 27-year-old son of former state representative John Thompson is accused of plowing into a car full of young women at 95 miles per hour. They were all promptly eliminated.
The collision left Thompson with a laceration to his head and a leg injury. The senior Thompson did not show up to court. There also didn’t seem to be any of the victims’ loved ones present.
Thompson’s bond was set at $1 million, but he remains in custody due to holds placed on him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal drug and gun charges coming from the crash in Minneapolis and by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for violating parole on a conviction in that state.
Concerns over a new plan established by the Minnesota Legislature that would allow many offenders to achieve early release from jail have been rekindled in light of Thompson’s case. Voters in California passed new sentencing criteria, and Thompson only served four years of an eight-year sentence.
Despite having a bond of $1 million, Derrick Thompson won’t be leaving jail because there are also holds on him for violating parole on a California conviction and by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal drug and gun charges. https://t.co/Cn7KKP5ntZ
— KSTP (@KSTP) June 23, 2023
The Minnesota Rehabilitation and Reinvestment Act is a piece of new public safety legislation passed by the Legislature last year. Most offenders, save those serving life sentences or juveniles, will be eligible for early release under this provision, provided they adhere to specific standards.
In addition to the mandatory one-third reduction granted by law, they may be eligible for additional reductions of up to 17% of their sentences. “I remember this early on at the Legislature talking to law enforcement,” former Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers said in an interview on “
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“There are people we’re mad at, and there are people we’re afraid of, and the difference is who stays in prison the longest. I gotta be honest, [Derrick Thompson] is somebody that we’re afraid of.” When asked about the need for limits on this policy, former DFL state senator Ember Reichgott Junge said she agreed there should be some.
“I do agree with you we have to have some limits on this. We have 18 months to put these policies in place, and my hope is they do just limit it to non-violent offenders,” Reichgott Junge said. She claims to know the law’s rationale as well.
“If you want somebody to come out of prison to be able to live in society, you need to address their substance abuse, their mental health issues,” Reichgott Junge said. “You need to give them education and work skills, and that’s what they’re trying to do with this.” At 10 a.m. Sunday morning, tune in to “At Issue with Tom Hauser” for a deep dive into this topic.
How do you keep up with what’s happening politically in the Golden State? If you’re looking for the latest information about the Golden State, go no farther than the California Examiner.