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MN: Case challenging constitutionality of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program can move forward

[ – 2/24/21]

A protracted case challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota’s system for treating sex offenders outside prison has gained new life after a federal appeals court in St. Louis ruled that claims contesting the program’s unusual conditions of confinement can move forward.

In a decision released Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit determined that allegations that clients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) were subjected to improper punishment and inadequate treatment should proceed. The decision sets the stage for another pitched debate over the future of the program, which confines more than 730 men in prisonlike treatment centers long after their criminal sentences have ended.

The ruling comes nearly a decade after a group of civilly committed sex offenders sued the state, arguing during a six-week trial that Minnesota’s system violated their due process rights under the U.S. Constitution by depriving them of access to the courts and other basic safeguards found in the criminal justice system.

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“State officials have disputed the assertion that MSOP clients do not have a clear pathway out of the program, pointing to figures showing that record numbers of clients have been approved for release by judicial panels. As of Feb. 8, 29 clients had been provisionally discharged by the court and were living in community settings under MSOP supervision. Four others have been provisionally discharged and are awaiting community placement. Over the program’s 27-year history, the courts have granted 13 clients a full discharge, meaning they are no longer under the program’s supervision.” Earlier in the article, it indicates that there… Read more »

Oh Gee more punishment ? no sir not punishment because in the all seeing and knowing LE said so , last time i looked in to this old scam at that time the number released was 1 , and all this time has went by and only 13 have been let go off this punishment program , and they still have to register , watch and see if people don’t start fighting back outside of the courts because it takes far to long for the RC to get a judgment because the courts and DOJ and lower courts , and… Read more »

Civil commitment is nothing more than modern day concentration camps. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Our society thinks up means down, right means left, good means evil, and big government does no wrong. Human rights means nothing in this hypocritical country. This practice needs to be illegal across this country now; while the ones that allowed this to occur to be held accountable for violating human rights.

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