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ISSUE 118 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/18/2005

Attorney inspires

By Jean Mullins
News Editor

Friday, March 18, 2005

Assistant Hennepin County Prosecuting Attorney, Bev Benson, addressed a group of students and friends in Valhalla Tuesday as part of the Women’s History Month celebrations on campus. The talk, sponsored by the Political Awareness Committee, was an intimate affair, as Benson sat around a table with the audience.

Benson began her talk by explaining the inner-workings of the Minnesota state courts. She explained her own role as prosecutor in homicide, domestic abuse and child abuse cases for Hennepin County. She explained that women are present in all aspects of the court system, from Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz to victims of violent crimes.

Benson explained how she valued her role in the court system. Despite seeing many cases that take an emotional toll, Benson said, "I think that it is important to support that person throughout the system."

Benson used many examples of children and women from her own personal career, who are what she termed "sensitive victims." These victims, while initially fearful of the court process, take part in the process of prosecuting criminals.

"To be that person to take away the fear and serving that function is really important," she said.

Benson also talked about how her diverse life interests drew her to pursue a law profession. She said that she had an interest in public speaking, teaching and children, all of which she encounters on in her career.

She also encouraged hands-on participation to learn more about potential callings, saying that it is, "so much a part of what shapes people’s choices."

PAC member Ishanaa Rambachan '08 said Benson was asked to speak for her eloquence and her activism. "She’s really involved in getting women into the court [professionally]," Rambachan said.

Anika Davis '05 agreed. "It’s nice to see someone achieve what she wanted to," she said.

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