There hasn’t been an execution in Minnesota since 1906, but Richard A. Oslund could be in jeopardy in a federal case in the state, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Oslund has been indicted in the 1998 killing of an armored car guard outside a Target store. Oslund has spent much of the past decade in state prisons. The current charge is federal meaning that Minnesota could be the scene of a capital punishment case.
Jerry Strauss, Oslund’s attorney, said he believes that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft will push for the death sentence to be applied if his client is found guilty. Many, including Ramsey County prosecutor Susan Gaertner, believe this case will be all about Ashcroft’s desire to apply the death penalty in states such as Minnesota where it’s not on the books.
The feds are justifying taking this case because the armored car company, Brinks, is involved in interstate commerce. “If the goal is not the death penalty,” Gaertner said, “I’m not sure I understand the federal interest in the case.”