CBS News and the Minnesota Reformer Report that Professor Murray's Clemency Clinic Wins TRO Preventing Return of Medically-Vulnerable Individuals to Prison
On August 9, 2022, the Law School's Clemency Clinic, run by Professor JaneAnne Murray, filed a class action suit with the ACLU and Mitchell-Hamline's LAMP Clinic on behalf of the 15 prisoners currently on medical release due to their COVID-19 vulnerabilities to prevent the Department of Corrections from abruptly returning them to prison. The DOC's position was that the advent of vaccines and anti-viral drugs rendered these prisoners' continued designation to home confinement unnecessary. The plaintiffs' position was that the operative statute required a finding of a public safety need for re-incarceration - a finding that had not been made and could not be made here. The Clemency Clinic's client, a name plaintiff in the suit, had been released because of her pregnancy and had spent the past eight months at home bonding with her infant - a baby that would not understand the sudden departure of her primary caregiver. CBS reported Professor Murray as saying: "Ms. Wagner, through her extraordinary rehabilitation, does not deserve this sudden disruption of the eight-month bond she has built with her newborn." On August 11, 2022, Judge Mark Ireland in Ramsey County, held an emergency hearing during which, as reported by CBS and the Minnesota Reformer, he granted the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order. He set an expedited briefing schedule and a hearing on August 18, 2022.