The Judicial Reasoning Behind My Uncle’s Two-Year Sentence

The reason I hesitate to give you the full maximum
is that although there is a charge at Fergus Falls against you,
I must consider you are innocent of that until you are
proven guilty, and these crimes that you have committed,
outside of this juvenile crime, you haven’t used aggressive
you haven’t used a gun,
you haven’t hit a man over the head.

Also, I am going to consider that you have plead guilty
and have saved the State some money in trying you
although the County Attorney is of the opinion that he would
just as soon try you and all the rest of them.
He doesn’t think you have a chance in the world
of ever getting out of it.

I am going to take into consideration the fact that
I can’t say that you have committed an aggressive crime;
if you had, I would give you the very limit I possibly could,
because I don’t think the court should monkey around
with a man that hits anyone over the head.

Court Report, Hennepin County, Minnesota, Fourth Judicial District Court, October 23, 1958. Pages 23 & 24. Obtained through the Minnesota Historical Society Library. Submitted by Kelly Nelson.