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Submitted 4:45 p.m.
02.12.2015
Letter to the Editor

It is difficult to shock a conscience that is unshockable.”

JoAnn Wypijewski

I was glad to see the Schwartzafpel piece on the Minnesota class action suit of sex offenders challenging civil commitment. In here, I think, is the central problem:

Was the state’s behavior “shocking to the contemporary conscience,” the state asks? “In the end, Plaintiffs have no evidence that any Defendant…engaged in egregious and conscience-shocking behavior required to establish a Fourteenth Amendment violation,” lawyers for the state wrote.

It is difficult to shock a conscience that is unshockable. Torture, check. Elective war, check. Declaring some people outside the circle of humanity, check. Ripping up habeas corpus, check, check, check. I realize this is the legal bar, but it has become meaningless. Restoring a conscience is, thus, the political problem and mission. Can it be done? I don't know. That requires a revolution of the mind.

JoAnn Wypijewski

 
These letters written in response to
News June 17, 2015
A Minnesota sex-offender program is under fire. How long can the state hold people for crimes they have not yet committed?