Thomas Duvall would be only the second person released from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in more than 20 years and the federal courts say you can't give a life sentence to someone who's already done their prison time.
Hennepin County prosecutor George Widseth has put away his share of sex offenders, but today he was in the unusual position of asking for one's release.
"Yeah, he's got a tremendous history. They all have tremendous history, long awful history," Widseth said.
Duvall is one of 698 sex offenders who've done their criminal time, and are now considered patients, civilly committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in St. Peter and Moose Lake.
"If they're treating people they have to be released," Widseth said.
That's what the federal courts say, too, but attorney general Lori Swanson is seeking to block Duvall's release, her attorneys asked a three-judge panel Friday for a hearing to see if he's still a threat to the public.
Duvall's rap sheet goes back to 35 years, when he raped a 17-year-old girl he met at the State Fair.
1981: Five months after his release, he forced a woman into his car at knife point.
1984: Three days after his release from prison, he assaulted a 15-year-old girl on her way to school. Later that day he assaulted two other girls at gunpoint.
1987: 12 days after his release from prison for those crimes, he raped a 17-year old girl and beat her with a hammer.
PANEL: A 'HOMICIDAL RAGE TOWARDS WOMEN'
Two psychologists who reviewed his case last year said he was highly likely to re-offend, that he had a "homicidal rage towards women," and may actually have anywhere from 60 to 200 victims. And yet, he also meets all the criteria for release.
It's also about politics. Governor Dayton is siding with the Department of Human Services, in not objecting to Duvall's release, but former house speaker Kurt Zellers is opposing his release in a letter to the court that says he's concerned the release may be imminent and a done deal.
The three-judge panel set aside the second week in April to have a hearing on whether Duvall is still a threat to the public. Three psychologists will examine Duvall and testify about his risk level. There's no argument about his past, the arguments will be about what he's like today.