MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Lawyers for over 700 people committed indefinitely to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program are asking the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling that the program is constitutional.
The appeals panel last month reversed a lower court’s ruling that the program violates offenders’ rights because hardly anyone is ever released.
Attorneys in the class-action lawsuit on Wednesday asked for a rehearing before the full appeals court. They argue that the panel applied the wrong legal standards, then erred in dismissing the offenders’ claims entirely rather than sending the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.
Only seven offenders in the program are currently free on provisional releases, and only one has been permanently discharged, even though it’s more than 20 years old.
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