You Are Hereby Sentenced to Life in California


Sara Jane Olson, the middle-aged Minnesota housewife and convicted terrorist, is scheduled to be released on parole soon and she wants to return to Minnesota.

The local police want none of it.  They want her to have to serve her parole in California, where she was tried and convicted of her crimes.  (Apparently it is routine for parolees to be allowed to move to other states if they want.)

Not because she's dangerous.  Far from it: she may have been involved in a violent militant group back in 1975, but by all accounts her radical impulses faded with disco and polyester suits.  Since then the wildest thing she seems to have done is maybe put a drop or two of Tabasco in her hotdish for the lutheran potluck.

Rather, as the head of the local police union said, "She should serve her debt where she committed her crimes."  In other words, letting her return to Minnesota wouldn't be punishment enough.  Justice can only be served by forcing her to live in California.

Minnesotans like to make fun of California sometimes (and I suspect the reverse is also true), but this is the first time I can remember a member of Minnesota's law enforcement system actually seriously suggesting life in California as criminal punishment.