Mark Dayton flip-flops, now opposes release of sex offenders


Minnesota's sex offender program was created in 1994, but since then only two men have been released from its Moose Lake facility.

In an interview earlier this month, Mark Dayton said he supported complying with the Department of Human Services recommendation to release serial rapist Thomas Duvall from his indefinite detention at the state's sex offender facility.

SEE ALSO: Dayton signs law to move mentally ill offenders out of jail quicker

But Attorney General Lori Swanson expressed concern Dayton and other state officials were moving too fast, and MNGOP gubernatorial candidate Kurt Zellers blasted the governor for not blocking Duvall's release. As a result, during a news conference today, Dayton sounded a different note and said he now opposes the release of offenders like Duvall.

[jump] Here's what Capitol reporters were tweeting about today's newser:
-- Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) November 13, 2013 State officials have taken heat from all over the world for Minnesota's 19-year-old sex offender treatment program, which currently houses nearly 700 inmates in the Moose Lake facility but has only released two offenders ever. Those criticisms only increased after 45-year-old Ray Messer became the first inmate to commit suicide at the facility in August.

Last year, a federal judge ordered state officials to reform Minnesota's civil commitment procedure so that sex offenders' constitutional rights are no longer violated by indefinite detentions. Today, Dayton essentially threw down the gauntlet and called upon legislators like Zellers to reform the state's sex offender civil commitment procedure next session.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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