From the Star Tribune website:
The trial of Koua Fong Lee took a startling turn Thursday morning when the Ramsey County Attorney's Office offered to allow him to go free immediately -- an offer that Lee turned down.
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After lawyers for Lee and the prosecution had lengthy conversations in the chambers of District Court Judge Joanne Smith, assistant County Attorney Mark Listig said he would ask Smith to vacate Lee's sentences if Lee would agree to drop his petition.
Lee refused the offer, continuing to maintain his innocence.
Here’s a translation: Okay, Mr. Lee; we’ll let you out, but we get to keep the record of conviction and the felonies remain on your record for the rest of you life. You get to go back to your family — stained — and we get to maintain a little dignity, anyway.
And Koua Fong Lee told them exactly what they could do with that offer.
It was a gutsy move — he could lose his motion for a new trial — but it was the act of a guy intent on removing any trace of the blot on his escutcheon. And you have to admire him for it.
Unlike Susan Gaertner and the Ramsey County Attorney’s office, who have been fighting a rear-guard action on this case for a very long time, and who are obviously trying now to end this as quickly as possible, and with as little humiliation as possible.
It’s too bad that Koua Fong Lee didn’t cooperate.