- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill meant to stop the release of sexually violent predators has been signed into law.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed the bill Thursday.

The law allows those convicted of a violent sexual offense as a juvenile to be sent to a civil containment unit for sexually violent predators upon release from prison. Officials didn’t previously consider such juvenile convictions when making adult release decisions.

Lawmakers say those who commit sexually violent crimes as juveniles could be dangerous as adults. They say this was true in the case of Kathlynn Shepard, who authorities say was abducted and killed last year by Michael Klunder.

Had the law had been in place last year, lawmakers say Klunder could have been kept in civil containment for past offenses instead of being freed.

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