Governor: Suspend Minn. sex offender release petitions - KMSP-TV

Governor: Suspend Minn. sex offender release petitions

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  • Governor: Suspend Minn. sex offender release petitionsMore>>

  • VOICE FROM INSIDE: Minnesota may release 'ticking time bombs'

    Offender: 'They're ticking time bombs'

    Thursday, October 31 2013 4:48 PM EDT2013-10-31 20:48:04 GMT
    An offender who knows many of the men who may soon be released from the state's sex offender treatment centers says some being considered are "ticking time bombs."
    An offender who knows many of the men who may soon be released from the state's sex offender treatment centers says some being considered are "ticking time bombs."
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday urged the Department of Human Services to suspend any petitions for the provisional release of civilly-committed sex offenders until the State Legislature and courts can review the laws.


MORE: Read the full letter from Dayton


Wednesday's announcement is a change of course for Dayton, who previously supported the DHS recommendation to release clients from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

In the letter, Dayton admitted his personal preference is that no civilly committed sex offender would be released; however, he said he has a duty to follow the law as governor.

The state has committed 698 sex offenders who have served their criminal sentences. All are currently considered patients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and are held in locked facilities in St. Peter and Moose Lake.

"If they're treating people, they have to be released," said Hennepin County prosecutor George Widseth.

That's what the federal courts say, too, but Attorney General Lori Swanson is seeking to block the release of Thomas Duvall, who would be just the second person released from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in more than 20 years.

Two psychologists who reviewed Duvall's case last year said found was highly likely to re-offend, that he had a "homicidal rage towards women," and that he may actually have anywhere from 60 to 200 victims. Yet, he also meets all the criteria for release.

Former House Speaker Kurt Zellers opposed Duvall's release in a letter to the court that said he's concerned the release may be imminent and a done deal.

A 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.

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