Tougher Strangulation Penalties Sought In Mn.


The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women in St. Paul calls it a “onesie”–a tiny cotton body suit on display on top of a conference room table, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Newborn baby,” read the pink-colored words for the infant boy strangled and dumped in a garbage bag by his 18-year-old birth mother last year. The kid didn’t even get a name before his life was smothered. Another onesie, belonging to “Rose Marie Heden, beaten to death,” rested a few feet away between a half-dozen more pieces of clothing. Another year has ended, with another long list of domestic violence victims and artwork or clothing commemorating their slayings. The victims range from newborns to Wayne Huotari, 62, who was fatally stabbed while unsuccessfully trying to prevent the killing of his stepdaughter and the woman’s 26-year-old daughter.

The victims will be remembered through artwork to be unveiled Thursday in the annual Clothesline Project. Started in 1990 in Massachusetts, the effort now includes about 500 projects around the globe. This year, the Minnesota group is supporting proposed legislation that would make attempted strangulation a presumptive felony offense, rather than a misdemeanor as it currently is. Four other states have recently made that legislative change. “Strangulation is often one of the last abusive acts committed by a violent domestic partner before murder,” says a new Hennepin County, Mn., report.


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