Hennepin County's Consolidate Hearing - Nothing Resolved
Hennepin County consolidated 102 DWI breath test cases. Today it held a hearing at which the attorneys, prosecutors and all 102 defendants were required to attend. The theory was that the prosecutors were going to offer deals to get the cases settled.
Someone forgot to tell the prosecutors.
Although some cases may eventually get resolved, it seemed few, if any cases, settled today. Instead, we learned:
Â· Prosecutors do not want to join the First Judicial District's consolidated cases (They gave no explanation for their position).
Â· Prosecutors would not object to consolidation on a state wide basis, but have yet to file a motion to do so.
Â· Prosecutors have not looked into retaining an expert to analyze the source code, instead they will use the expert retained by the Attorney General on civil cases.
Â· Prosecutors do not want their expert to begin work until after the defense has concluded its work.
Â· Prosecutors believe it is best to set a "tracking date| to move things along.
Â· The Source Code Coalition requested consolidating Hennepin County cases with the First Judicial District. This would save judicial resources as well as the resources of its municipalities.
The next date was set for June 1, 2010.
Judge Abrams has done an excellent job coordinating the 700+ cases in the First Judicial District and has issued a strict scheduling order, with a trial date of May 10, 2010. Trial is expected to take three weeks.
Is it a coincidence that Hennepin County scheduled the next source code case immediately after the First Judicial District's case?
In my opinion, the prosecutors from Hennepin County don't want consolidation because they want two bites at the apple. If the prosecutors like the results from the First District, will they seek to use the results in Hennepin County. If they don't like the results, then they have the right to their own hearing on the source code issue.
It would in the best interests of Minnesotan's to move these cases along and stop wasting the tax payers' money, particularly in these tough economic times. As I blogged previously, otherwise, CMI, the Intoxilyzer 5000 manufacturer, will be the sole winner here.
Hennepin County is the sole county in the Second Judicial District, which has the largest population in the state of Minnesota. It has the following cities:
St. Anthony Village
St. Louis Park
Hennepin County also hears cases for Hassan Township and Fort Snelling.
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