Viewing Douglas A. Hedin, "The Emergence of a Criminal Defendant's Right to Testify at Trial."
Until 1868, a defendant in a criminal trial in Minnesota could not testify in his own defense. Like other states, Minnesota adhered to the common law rule that barred a criminal defendant from testifying because he had an "interest" in the outcome of the trial. The parallel common law prohibition against civil parties from testifying was never followed in Minnesota. On March 6, 1868, the Minnesota Legislature amended the witness competency law to permit a criminal defendant to testify if he chose.