Capital Punishment - Stone Arch Discussion Group Print E-mail


 With Attorney Steven Z. Kaplan


 Saturday, July 8, 2017 – 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Wilde Cafe and Spirits: 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414


steven z. kaplan 2For more than a century, juries in criminal cases in the United States have been instructed that defendants are entitled to the “presumption of innocence.”  However, the innocent sometimes are ensnared by a criminal justice system that goes awry.  Such a case involved Damon Thibodeaux, who traveled to New Orleans to attend two family weddings. When his 14-year-old step-cousin, Crystal Champagne, was found murdered in July 1996, police brought in Thibodeaux for questioning.  Steve Kaplan served as the lead lawyer for Fredrikson & Byron’s pro bono work on Thibodeaux’s case, which began in 2000 and led to Thibodeaux's release in 2012.

Mr. Kaplan has been a writer and a lecturer at continuing legal education and other professional seminars on such topics as tax refund litigation, opening statement, closing argument, the art of trial advocacy, the law of privilege, the death penalty, ethical issues in white collar criminal defense, bank fraud and fidelity insurance.  He has won many awards including the Never Forgotten Award from the Innocence Project of Minnesota in 2015; the Minnesota State Bar Association North Star Lawyer Award, 2012-2016;  the Pro Bono Service Award from the Hennepin County Bar Association in 2012; and the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award.

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.






MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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