The Hennepin County Attorney's office has debuted new Web site features so citizens can more actively participate and follow judicial proceedings.
The technology allows the Minneapolis residents to easily find criminal cases pending in their neighborhood, follow the cases through the court system and submit victim impact statements via the Internet at www.hennepinattorney.org. (Victims and community members can still provide impact statements, used by some judges at sentencing, in person and in writing.)
Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said she implemented the technology after many requests from residents. "They wanted to have more information on when cases are coming up," Klobuchar said, in addition to the other new features.
The Web site covers all Hennepin County cities but only allows neighborhood-specific searches in Minneapolis. Klobuchar said most Hennepin County suburbs preferred they not be divided by neighborhood.
Most of the offenses the Web site lists are felonies such as drug and property crimes. Information about defendants and their next court appearance is also available.
According to the County's news release, state law allows community representatives and victims to provide judges with statements about crimes in their neighborhood. "We've gotten a number of impact statements (from the site) already" within a week of its debut, Klobuchar said.
The site was developed with a $150,000 federal grant and help from various municipalities, she said.
To discover what criminal cases are pending in your neighborhood, visit www.hennepinattorney.org/MplsPrecinctMap.asp, click on Southwest's 5th Precinct and then click on the neighborhood whose case file you wish to view.