Minn. Bill Would Set Open Sentences For Sex Crimes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A proposal to put the most dangerous sex offenders away for open-ended prison terms cleared a House panel Tuesday as lawmakers search for new ways to deal with the soaring cost of confining sexual predators.

The bill from Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, won a unanimous voice vote by the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. Cornish, who heads the panel, said his plan would separate sexual predators from less risky sex criminals and keep the predators in prison indefinitely instead of sending them to a secure treatment program at three times the cost.

“We can’t afford to do what we’re doing,” Cornish told the panel.

Minnesota scrapped indeterminate sentencing decades ago in favor of sentencing guidelines based on the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s criminal history.

The bill would resurrect open-ended sentences for sexual predators, if a jury found they lacked control over their sexual impulses and posed a danger to others. They would have to serve at least twice the recommended sentence for their crime and then could get out only if the corrections commissioner found they were no longer a threat to the public.

Releases of predatory sex offenders would be subject to conditions set by the corrections commissioner. Violations could send them back to prison.

The vote came a few days after lawmakers received a critical legislative auditor’s report about the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, which treats sex offenders after prison at a per-person cost of $120,000 a year. Lawmakers are looking for less expensive ways to handle dangerous sex offenders without jeopardizing the public.

Cornish’s bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • T-Paw

    double the sentence yet they are trying to find a way to release the civilly committed offenders from Moose Lake?

    • deborah freeman

      It just shows how little the public knows about sex offenders, we pay million to keep track of sex offenders on the registry, that doesn’t help at all. I would say if it helps, spend billions, but people need to do some reserach, before they make a decission and wait our money.

  • linda

    about time, in fact don’t ever let them out,!!

    • Robin Matthews

      Amen ! Amen !! all they do is do it again!

  • Chad

    Well worth the money to keep them in a cage.

  • Robin Matthews

    This is one time I can say ! GOOD JOB! REPUBLICAN!! good job i hope it goes through! they all need to Rot in their sell!!! ;0)

  • Mel

    Research has proven that almost 100% of sex offenders re-offend even with intensive therapy and meds. I’d rather have drug dealers on the streets than sex offenders.

    • Elmo

      What a goof ball. You must have got your research from Enquire. Most drug dealers have had sex with underage girls, then use them to mule their drugs to high school. So you want them on the street? I hope they move very close to you.

      • Bruce

        One can commit fairly horrible crimes and serve relatively short sentences, perhaps with early parole, but commit a crime with certain body parts and be jailed forever. It’s not unlike driving under the speed limit only to be stopped for speeding where the cop says, “I feel you were going to fast.”

        If we’re really serious about the “evil body part” crimes and situational ethics sentencing, why don’t we just cut to the quick and institute the death penalty for sex crimes and be done with it?

      • Lower Middle Class man

        I’m with Mel on this one – He did not say he wanted Drug dealers on the streets – He said if he had to choose between a Drug Dealer or a Sex Offender – He’d choose the drug dealer.

    • Amos

      I would like to know where you got your research? and based on what study and…..what type of offender are you talking about??? CAUSE! facts are… it is very low, like 10 to 14% re-offend! What type of offender matters on the likely hood to re-offend! Time people educate themselves and get some facts right! Media is not always fact, and they only report to you the most serious offenders and that is NOT the majority of the offenders! You need to look in the home, that is where most offenders are…dads,uncles,grandpa,family friend. Now that is fact!! Check it out, about 90% are!!!!!!

  • Mikey

    Do like China, make them learn a trade and produce product for sale to the public. Make them pay rent.

  • Gloynn

    “let him who is without sin, cast the first stone” If you believe the ruling today to be fair, then it should apply to EVERYONE that is convicted of a crime, no matter what the crime is. Change is possible for everyone. I’m sure you have changed in some part of your GREAT life. Perhaps you should first look at the correctional REHABILITATION SYSTEM, then judge.

    • Keeping it real in Minnesota

      Rehabilitation System?….hummm…what is that???…6×9 cell, 23 hours a day?..for however long?…..most guys going into prison come out educated on HOW to be a real CRIMINAL…MInnesota has turn stiles for their facilities, so many have parole violations…and its job security for our C.Os too…….there is no such thing as REHABILITATION in prison….if anything…some AGE out of crime for obvious reasons…..LOL

  • hombre

    Here i

  • tony

    You’re ignorant and obviously think this is funny. You must be a kid. Why aren’t you in school. Grow up

  • hombre

    I just believe that ALL sex offenders should be killed. It is pretty simple. At the very least, they should be easy to spot. They are all going to hell, why not speed the process along!

    • dphilips

      Thats the solution! Lets go back to lynching! In condoning killing,you are every bit as guilty as the offenders

    • Amos

      Are you for real!!! All offenders should be killed?? Do you have any idea what all…sex offenders have done? Do you have any idea what a level 1 offender is vs. a level 3? So a 19 year old boy who has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend and it is consensual sex, should die? cause he is going to hell anyway!!! Right!

  • tony

    What about those convicted of murder. They actually killed someone. I feel sorry for you. You live a life of hatred and you lack joy. Perhaps you should move to a country where there is public executions on the streets, then you could enjoy life

  • hombre

    are you telling me i should embrace child molesters? Let me guess, you need to register with the authorities every time you move. I guess you could say that i am in favor of the death penalty for first degree murderers. If i need to embrace sex offenders to attain a more joyful life, I am out. do you really think that removing an offenders genitals would not prevent them from repeating the same crime? Don’t you feel that you should be aware of the offenders around you? Or are you ok with letting them continue to target our children? You need to think about it, even if you are one of these predators!

  • dphilips

    People like you ruin the country!

  • Jack Mehoff

    God, what a bunch of idiots that frequent this site to offer their “wisdom”. Do the whole country a favor and go finally get your high school diploma…

  • Kevin

    Regardless of the crime committed, we have to find better ways to punish those who commit the crime without punishing those who do not commit the crime, meaning the taxpayers. We certainly cannot continue to pay $120,000 per year to house a person who comimitted a crime that had to do with sex, or any other type of crime for that matter. That is just absolutely foolish.

    I would favor a very very strict ankle bracelet system such that the person is basically in prison in his/her own home, and paying for their own living expenses instead of sucking taxpayers dry.

    • amos

      Amen! and that would be at the cost of the offender.

      We could use that money on education and that is a cure for crime! Facts…. are higher education, less crime! The more often we lock people up at younger ages just creates more crime. That again is a fact!

  • Joachim

    I am in favor of the death penalty. I’ll bend over backwards to help someone out, and risk my life to save someone else, but to pay to have someone locked up for years, for what ever crime, I say no.
    Six months in jail is long enough. I would even go as far as a three strike rule. Said person is found guilted of a felony for the third time, that person is put to death.
    For all of you that think that death is such a bad thing, think about it, death is a part of life, and we would just be helping them along there journey.

  • Keeping it real in Minnesota

    Is everyone above me here in grade achool??….grow up….if a guy gets himself in a situation where he needs to be civilly committed, then there is a pretty good reason for it….the process isn’t simple, its very complicated….and knowing someone who has been committed, its probably just as much for :”their” safety as it is for the people in our communities….the STATE is only looking at dollars and cents in regards to this legislation, its not about “treating” anyone, and “treating” should be explained to exactly what it is to be “treated”….if they sit longer prison sentences, there won’t be ANY treatment…..so really this whole issue is just a large move sideways, and moving dollars from one program to another to make everyone have “warm” fuzzies”. Keep these dangerous people away from my kids/loved ones PERIOD……the state doesn’t know how to solve these problems…….most states don’t,,,,,,

  • Chris K

    Good thought Cornish… Never thought I would say that. Now stop letting these cho mos get PC’d up & let the natural order of prison rid us of these walking targets.

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