Minnesota Man Serving Life for 2 Murders Runs for US Senate
A Minnesota man is running for the United States Senate despite serving a life sentence for murdering two people.
Leonard Richards, 75, was convicted of murdering his half-sister May Wilson in 1982 and one of his attorneys, Robert Stratton, in 1987.
Authorities said that Wilson, before her death, told friends that Richards, who managed her financial affairs, was mean and abusive to her.
A smell emanating from a storefront in Minneapolis in 1982 led to neighbors complaining, prompting the leasing agent to send a locksmith over. The locksmith found Wilson’s decomposing body inside and called the police.
The storefront was being leased by Wilson.
Richards was convicted by a jury of murdering Wilson and later convicted of murdering Stratton.
Despite serving a life sentence and having no possibility of parole, Richards is allowed to run for any federal seat because Minnesota law only prohibits convicted criminals of running in state or local elections.
The official ballot shows Richards among five people running for a U.S. Senate seat, including incumbent Amy Klobuchar, on the Democratic ticket.
“Richards is allowed to run for federal office because the courts have ruled that we may not prohibit a felon, even one still serving a sentence, from filing an affidavit of candidacy,” Bert Black, a legal adviser for the Secretary of State’s Office, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“The only valid requirements are that you be of a certain age and that you live in the state on Election Day, essentially,” he said.
Richards has not spoken publicly about running for the Senate. He previously ran in the primary for the Eighth Congressional District seat, getting more than 14,500 votes in 1992, and the U.S. Senate in 1994, getting more than 4,000 votes.
The sister of Stratton, the lawyer that Richards shot dead, said that no one should vote for the convicted killer.
“I know he won’t win against Amy Klobuchar, but even one vote for this murderer is too many,” she said, adding that she hopes people research Richards’s past if they’re thinking of voting for him.