Representative Jeremy Munson (23B- Lake Crystal) says “Cassy’s Law”  passed the Minnesota House of Representatives as part of a larger Public Safety Policy bill. The bill aims to help Traumatic Brain Injury, and stroke patients and those with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder caught in the criminal justice system.  It has had broad bi-partisan support with 26 DFL and GOP co-sponsors in the House and Senate, including the chairs of Public Safety & Judiciary committees.

Rep. Munson worked with Tim Barry, the father of Cassondra Barry. Cassy was 26 when she gave birth to her daughter and had hernia surgery, which resulted in a massive stroke, damaging her frontal lobe.  Her leg was amputated to save her life. Due to her lack of impulse control, she is in solitary confinement today and will be through her release in October.

This bill directs judges to order a neuropsychological evaluation before sentencing when a defendant has a prior history of a TBI. If the assessment reveals a lack of impulse control due to a TBI, then sentences could be adjusted to seek effective treatment.

Back in September, Representative Jeremy Munson attended a town hall in St James on traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, and other disabilities with State Senator Julie Rosen, where he spoke about the bill.  Munson said, “We need to ensure we are not criminalizing mental illness. I am glad we have a mental health advocate in Senator Rosen in the Senate who can help us get this bill passed.”