JaneAnne Murray
Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Star Tribune Reports that Department of Corrections Backs Off Plan to Reincarcerate Individuals Released on Covid Grounds as a Result of Suit Filed by the Clemency Clinic

The Star Tribune reports that in light of the TRO won by the Law School's Clemency Clinic, Mitchell-Hamline's LAMP Clinic and the ACLU  earlier this week, the Department of Corrections is backing off its plan to reincarcerate 18 people who were freed from prison to protect their health during the COVID pandemic.  

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Tanya Mae Wagner, a client of the Clemency Clinic, represented by Professor Murray and Mary Hill ('23).  The Star Tribune reports that Wagner "was granted release because she gave birth in December and is now caring for the child along with her mother, who suffers from a brain injury."

It quotes Professor Murray, director of the Clemency Clinic, as saying that Wagner "does not deserve this sudden disruption of the eight-month bond she has built with her newborn. It is especially cruel and damaging to inflict this separation on an innocent baby."

Judge Mark Ireland in Ramsey County had granted the TRO and ordered additional immediate briefing with a hearing on August 18, 2022.  On Friday, the DOC's counsel asked Ireland to cancel further hearings and said that the state will conduct individual determinations for the 18 people remaining on conditional medical release, as the suit had demanded.

One of Murray's co-counsel in the suit, Dan Shulman at the ACLU, stated: "I think it is a very wise, humane decision by the Department of Corrections.  I applaud them for taking this step, and I hope that they will let these people remain on [medical release] where they should be."