A group of sex offenders in a state treatment facility are running for public office.
For the last three months, a group of sex offenders has quietly run a voter-registration drive up and down the hallways of the prisonlike treatment center in Moose Lake...Their goal is to elect sex offenders to as many as eight city and county offices, where they can push for more freedoms and reintegration into the community.
Kenny Daywitt, who is a convicted sex offender and is in treatment at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program's Moose Lake facility, is running for Moose Lake City Council. He spoke with MPR News' Steven John about the campaign.
In Minnesota, a person can be civilly committed indefinitely to a prison-like facility, even after serving out a sentence, if a court determines that a person is "highly likely" to commit more sex crimes.
In an April ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected the way the lower court determined a convicted sex offender's likelihood of re-offending. Justice Barry Anderson wrote that attempting to predict a person's future conduct is inherently risky and determining what "highly likely" means is not simply a matter of assigning a numeric value. Since then, the futures of the Moose Lake facility's residents have remained uncertain.