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House Committee Examines Sex Offender Discharge

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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