“In 2000, a Minnesota judge cut an immigrant a break, handing down a 364-day suspended sentence, one day less than what would result in his likely deportation. But the office prosecuting him for welfare fraud fought the judge’s mercy, pushing to add two extra days, and won on appeal.
The prosecutor who headed that office, Amy Klobuchar, parlayed her tough-on-crime reputation into a Senate seat and now a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. But even as she has found some traction in the race, her choices as a prosecutor have led to tough questions on the campaign trail.
During her eight-year tenure as the Hennepin County attorney, the chief prosecutor in Minneapolis, Ms. Klobuchar sought stiffer sentences, tougher plea deals and more trials, and vowed to call out judges for “letting offenders off the hook too easily.”
Those tactics served her well during her political rise, winning support from some conservatives and inoculating her from attacks by Republican opponents. But her record has also come under attack from civil rights activists who say she pursued policies that shored up her support in white suburbs at the cost of unfairly targeting minorities and declining to prosecute police shootings.”