Former Minnesota Court of Appeals judge Roland Amundson, convicted five years ago for stealing $400,000 from the trust fund of a woman with the mental capacity of a 3-year old, is the subject of a front page story in today's New York Times.
Amundson is serving out the last few months of his sentence in a Golden Valley halfway house. In many respects, the Times piece is your typical he-said, she-said argument about whether he feels remorse for the damage he has caused or for simply getting caught. (Hennepin County Attorney and current U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar is among those who think Amundson still doesn't get it.)
It also plays on the ironies of the situation: Amundson, a judge known for his harsh sentences, had his words used against him when his own sentence was handed down, and on more than one occasion has met inmates for whom he provided extra time in the slammer.
Perhaps the most revealing quote was Amundson's now-self-serving remark about life on the other side of the prison bars. "I knew the era of rehabilitation was over, but I had no idea we had reduced it to just warehousing, and I don't think most judges do," he said.
Really? Don't they ever read the papers or watch the news?