House Committee Examines Sex Offender Discharge

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is defending her decision not to oppose the provisional discharge of a man who spent nearly 19 years in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Sixty-four-year-old Clarence Opheim is the first civilly committed sex offender to receive a court-ordered provisional discharge in Minnesota.

Last year, Jesson and others had opposed his provisional discharge, but they changed their minds after receiving new information about his case. Opheim will soon move to a halfway house, where his every movement will be monitored.

Jesson and others say Opheim meets the criteria for provisional discharge under the law.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, says maybe the law needs to be changed. He says sex offenders should be locked up for life with no chance for parole, or face the death penalty.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • chad

    The sex offender treatment program is unconstitutional.

    When a person is sentenced to prison, he should not be forced to have to stay in custody for the rest of his life after serving his original prison sentence, and committing a sex offender prevents them from having a second chance at life.

    We need to let the judges do their jobs, and the sentence that the judge gives a criminal should be their only sentence.

    • hunnybear18

      Their victims get a life sentence or worse. Why shouldn’t they?

  • Christopher Mankey

    Gotta love our catch-and-release justice system in Minnesota. Too many liberal, bleeding-heart, activist judges being soft on crime. Hardened criminals do light time then go back to re-offend.

    Get real – the constitution is not absolute. Sometimes we have to make some minor “tweaks” in order to protect society. It’s a small price to pay for our safety. If someone wants to lock up sex offenders for life, I’m OK with that.

  • EJ

    Well I’m not into paying for a person for life if they served their time. We don’t have leper colony’s anymore except in Hawaii. Being gay in the 80’s was about the same as sex offenders are treated now. A bunch of hate, instead of dealing with a behavior issue. I’m sure this guy has been through 10 years of treatment, yet society just wants him locked up. Let the Judges rule stand, that is why we have Judges, and not somebody opinion that hasn’t even been at a persons trial.

    • hunnybear18

      Oh the hate! You are an idiot. First of all, level III’s are generally classified that way because of noncompliance with treatment. And this “behavior issue” is something that causes tremdendous long term effects to its victims. How do you say 10 years is long enough for doing that to over 100 kids?

      You are either a sex offender or are defending one.

  • missy

    Hmm, anyone remember a young, innocent woman named Dru?

  • outrage

    Rep Glen Gruenhagen says “Sex offenders need to be locked up for life” I totally agree!! What is wrong with people like Lucinda Jesson?? releasing a sex-offender-monster is So APPAULING. Experts even admit these ‘creeps’ cannot be cured!!!! how quickly they have forgotten about Dru Sjodin. when this sex offender reoffends (which he WILL) miss Jesson will take FULL responsibility for her disgusting decision.

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