JaneAnne Murray
Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Professor JaneAnne Murray Quoted in Star Tribune and MPR News about Successful Clemency Clinic Resentencing in Felony Murder Case

Both the Star Tribune and MPR News quoted Professor JaneAnne Murray in articles about the recent win of the Clemency Project Clinic, which successfully petitioned for resentencing on behalf of a client convicted of felony murder.  Emma Kruger, '23, drafted the petition under Murray's supervision and argued it before the sentencing judge. Megan Cater had been convicted of aiding and abetting unintentional murder (commonly known as "felony murder") arising out of her participation in a burglary of a drug dealer that ended tragically. Cater, who was unarmed and intended only to participate in a burglary, was not even in the room when one of her co-defendants fatally shot the victim. Under changes to the felony murder statute enacted by the Minnesota legislature last year, Cater's conduct no longer qualifies for this severe charge. On February 6, 2024, her sentencing judge vacated the murder conviction and entered a judgment of conviction for burglary alone.  Cater was resentenced to 69 months, and since she had served well in excess of this sentence, she and her co-defendant were released later that day.  

Murray told the Star Tribune: "The felony murder statute has long produced unjustly punitive convictions and sentences in Minnesota . . . Ms. Cater is grateful that the Minnesota Legislature reformed it, and, through its 'second look' provision, allowed her to benefit from the changes."

MPR News quotes Murray as saying that Minnesota’s old felony murder law has resulted in sentences for too many defendants that are disproportionate to their culpability. “Our client was only 19 at the time of her offense, and she did not intend or participate in a murder. . .  It is right and just that she, and many similarly situated to her, get punished for what they did, and not for the conduct of others.”