Clemency Clinic, Led by Prof. JaneAnne Murray, Secures Covid-19 Medical Release for Four Clients and Continues to Fight for Three Others
On October 21, 2022, the Star Tribune reported on a victory for the Law School's clemency clinic, run by Prof. JaneAnne Murray. In August of this year, the Clinic, working with the ACLU and the LAMP clinic at Mitchell-Hamline, obtained a temporary restraining order preventing the Department of Corrections (DOC) from reincarcerating all remaining prisoners who had been released on medical grounds due to their vulnerability to COVID-19. Thereafter, the DOC announced that it would do an individualized review of the circumstances of each prisoner.
Murray's clinic represented Tanya Wagner, one of the name plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Ms. Wagner had been released because she was pregnant, and has since given birth. In addition to Ms. Wagner, the clemency clinic took on the representation of six additional released prisoners, and filed letters with the DOC addressing each client's medical and family situation.
As reported by the Star Tribune, the DOC decided to continue the medical release for 14 prisoners, including four of the clemency clinic's clinics. Murray was quoted as saying: "We are grateful that the DOC decided not to return 14 individuals on conditional medical release, four of whom were represented by the [University of Minnesota's] Clemency Clinic. But we will continue to litigate on behalf of our remaining three clients, including Tanya Wagner." Murray added that advocates working with the clinic (including Professor Chinmoy, Director of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School) believe that returning Wagner to prison and cutting her off from her 10-month-old baby "is unnecessary and cruel, and in fact creates public safety concerns rather than serves them."
The following students worked on these cases: Buchanan Waller, Julia Kasbohm, Emma Kruger, Victor Jimenez, Rob Grimsley and Dylan Scheppers, along with student directors Mary Hill, Emanual Williams, Bailey Martin, Alayna O'Brien, Eric Weathers and Claire Paulsen.