Bizarre Alexandria sex law is an internet myth

Categories: Law, Sex
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Last week, SmarterTravel.com published its list of the "10 strangest sex laws in the USA."

Cracking the list was this doozy, purportedly from Alexandria, Minnesota: It's against the law for a man to have sex with his wife if his breath smells of garlic, onions, or sardines.

See also:
Christian conservative leader accidentally sent Michele Bachmann a vibrator, report says


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Wolves' Dante Cunningham won't face charges for terroristic threats arrest -- for now

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Cunningham's Thursday mugshot (left) and his Sunday mugshot.
Sunday afternoon, Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested for allegedly sending his girlfriend threatening electronic messages. That came just two days after he was charged with a felony for allegedly strangling her early Thursday morning.

Despite the terroristic threats arrest, Cunningham posted bail Monday and was released from custody without additional charges being filed. That doesn't mean charges can't be added down the line, however.

See also:
The Minnesota Timberwolves All-Arrested team


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DRE scandal: Ruling opens door to finding out where cops got their pot

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The DRE scandal resulted in no criminal charges, but some of the program's subjects are seeking substantial civil compensation.
A federal judge has green-lighted a lawsuit brought by Occupy protesters against law enforcement agencies that allegedly gave them pot as part of officers' Drug Recognition Expert training.

The ruling means the case is headed toward a trial that could reveal where officers got the pot they allegedly doled out to protesters in exchange for their participation in the controversial program, which was the subject of a five-part City Pages series.

See also:
Contradicting published reports, Mark Dayton now denies telling moms to buy pot off street


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Man who made "get out of jail" cards for legislators says they're a big deal

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These cards give legislators immunity from most non-felony offenses.
Legislators opposed to a bill that would strip them of DWI immunity during the legislative session argue there's no evidence that the cards are ever actually used. The argument is that since there's no problem, there's no need for a legislative fix.

But that line of thinking doesn't square with the work experience of Evan Hiltunen, who worked for the secretary of state's office from 2000 to 2003 and was tasked with making the cards at the beginning of the 2002 legislative session.

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Marion Guerrido won't face felony charges for fatal pond crash

Categories: Law, Tragedy
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Guerrido (left) had five kids in her car at the time; five-year-old Zenavia (center) and seven-year-old Alarious (right) died.
Hennepin County officials have announced Marion Guerrido won't face felony charges in connection with a November 21 crash that left the vehicle she was driving submerged in a St. Louis Park retention pond and resulted in the death of two young children.

Guerrido didn't have a driver's license at the time, but a statement from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office says, "The accident reconstruction, tests and interviews with Guerrido indicate she was not speeding, did not have drugs or alcohol in her system and had not been on her cell phone."

See also:
Mother of girl who died in pond crash gave birth prematurely after learning of child's fate


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6th grader who had her Facebook raided by school for sex chats to receive settlement

Categories: Law
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Riley Stratton
Two years ago, Riley Stratton, then a 6th grader at a school in the Minnewaska School District in western Minnesota, was punished by administrators for posting after school on her Facebook page that she "hated" a teacher who had been "mean" to her. In a separate incident, administrators forced Stratton to hand over her Facebook login information and searched her page amid allegations she had an online conversation (also after school) with a boy about sex. (Read the backstory here.)

The ACLU filed suit against the school, arguing the first incident violated Stratton's First Amendment rights, while the second violated her Fourth Amendment rights. Yesterday, they announced victory: The school district has agreed to a $70,000 settlement, which will be split between the Strattons and the ACLU.

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech


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Suicide-encouraging nurse Melchert-Dinkel is "very decent human being," lawyer says

Categories: Law
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William Melchert-Dinkel
Defense attorney Terry Watkins scored a huge victory on Wednesday, as the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the conviction of his most notorious client: William Melchert-Dinkel, the former Faribault nurse who was convicted of advising and encouraging two people to kill themselves via online communications.

THE BACKSTORY: Suicide-encouraging nurse's conviction is unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules

Melchert-Dinkel misrepresented his identity and entered into false suicide pacts with people (he's obviously still alive). When investigators tracked him down in Faribault, he initially tried to pin the blame on his two young daughters. But despite all that, Watkins says this of his client: "When I met Mr. Melchert-Dinkel it was very clear that at his core this was a very decent human being."

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Suicide-encouraging nurse's conviction is unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules

Categories: Law
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Melchert-Dinkel told a suicidal Canadian teenager he "would die today if we could... I wish [we both] could die now."
Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down the conviction of former Faribault nurse William Melchert-Dinkel for advising and encouraging two people to kill themselves.

THE BACKSTORY: William Melchert-Dinkel charged with aiding two suicides

The court ruled that while there's no constitutional issue with the law against directly assisting suicide, criminalizing less precisely defined speech that advises or encourages such activity violates the First Amendment "because it is narrowly drawn to serve a compelling government interest."

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DFL Rep. Rick Hansen argues on behalf of DWI immunity for lawmakers, cites constitution

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Rep. Rick Hansen
:::: UPDATE :::: Legislators trying to kill bill that would rescind their DWI immunity, backer says

You might think subtly tweaking the way DWI is defined in order to strip legislators of their immunity from drunk driving arrests would be a no-brainer for Minnesota lawmakers. You'd be wrong.

THE BACKSTORY: Push renewed to strip legislators of DWI immunity

During the first hearing about a bill to that effect last week, two DFL lawmakers voted against it -- Rep. Rick Hansen, D-South St. Paul, and Rep. Michael Nelson, D-Brooklyn Park.

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Push renewed to strip legislators of DWI immunity

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Yes, Minnesota legislators literally receive a "get out of jail free" card.
:::: UPDATE :::: DFL Rep. Rick Hansen argues on behalf of DWI immunity for lawmakers, cites constitution

Two years ago, a group of Concordia University students led by political science professor Jayne Jones came up just short in their push to go the legislature to approve a student-drafted bill that would strip legislators of their immunity from DWI arrests during session. Jones and company hope to go all the way this year.

SEE ALSO: Urinal Cake Man: Strangest anti-drunk driving campaign ever?

"What happened two years ago was [legislators] were so afraid there'd be stories told on the floor that could be used against them in elections," Jones told us. "We were so close and we're not going to give up."

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