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is a statement from Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Hume: “Governor Dayton and his administration are responsible for carrying out the laws established by the Minnesota legislature regarding the treatment of convicted sexual offenders. Former Speaker Zellers is wrong in implying that the Governor or other administration officials have the authority to incarcerate such offenders for life. The length of a criminal sentence is recommended by the prosecuting County Attorney and decided by the presiding Judge, after review of applicable statutes and the facts of that case. Rep. Zellers could have proposed changing those statutes, while he was Speaker of the House in 2011 and 2012, if he thought they were inadequate; however, he did not do so. “Current Minnesota law also provides that a sexual offender may be determined to be a “sexually dangerous individual,” as defined by statute, and committed by a court to an indeterminate period of treatment, following the completion of his criminal sentence. The law also specifies procedures and criteria for the consideration of his eventual release into a controlled and carefully supervised setting. This law and its procedures were also left untouched by then-Speaker Zellers. In fact, after both DFL and Republican Senators voted last spring to make changes recommended by an expert panel, and the House DFL Caucus indicated its willingness to proceed with bi-partisan support, Rep. Zellers’ Republican Caucus adamantly refused to support any of those changes. “Rep. Zellers’ letter to the Attorney General is also seriously incorrect in claiming that Mr. “Duvall’s release is a ‘done deal’ and is imminent despite these concerns.” Despite the Human Services Commissioner’s decision to not oppose this provisional release recommendation, the decision to provisionally discharge Mr. Duvall is made by a three-judge panel appointed by the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Commissioner has also recommended to the court that Mr. Duvall be re-evaluated by an additional outside medical expert to obtain the most current assessment before the court issues its decision. That re-evaluation is now scheduled for January of next year. There is nothing “imminent” in this process. “The Governor has already committed his administration to conduct a full review of all the existing laws and procedures regarding sex offenders and make its recommendations to the
legislature before next year’s session. He urges Rep. Zellers to finally do what he neglected to do as Speaker: pitch in and help find a better solution to this extremely difficult problem.”