“CriMNet” was supposed to link every element of Minnesota’s criminal justice system – from the street cop to the judge – so they would have instant and accurate data at their fingertips, says St. Paul Pioneer Presss columnist Ruben Rosario. No more police stopping someone and not knowing if he was wanted in another county on an outstanding warrant. No more judges sentencing criminals without having full rap sheets in front of them. No more “black hole every time you travel across a jurisdictional line,” a long-gone official said in 2002.
We’re most definitely not there yet, Rosario says, even after the infusion of more than $103 million in state and federal money and 16 years after the legislature established a task force and policy group to make this happen. Rosario tells the story of girl, 12, who was killed in a burglary in 1999. The assailant was picked up nine months later. Her killer had served a month in jail the previous year and both the prosecutors and the judge knew there was something wrong with his identity, but they did not act. He was picked up and let go again because of an identity snafu just eight days before the murder. Sanchez pleaded guilty of first-degree murder for a chance at parole, which will come up in 2030.