The video above is news footage following the 2003 kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. We are posting that because Fox News cited the Sjodin case as contributing to the dramatic increase in members of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program that had originally been introduced in 1994. On July 25, 2012, Fox reported that US District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program can move forward as a class action lawsuit involving more than 600 people who have been indefinitely committed to the program.
According to Fox, prosecutors and courts have deemed offenders who were committed to the program “too dangerous to be released without treatment” despite having finished all their prison sentences. “They’re officially considered patients, not prisoners, but they’re not free to leave,” Fox reported.
No patient had been successfully released since the program began in 1994 until one patient earned a provisional discharge into a halfway house earlier this year, according to Fox. The lawsuit alleges failure to provide adequate treatment and challenges the constitutionality of the state’s civil commitment statute.
Fox reported that the federal judge ruled that the lawsuit meets the legal requirements for a class action and concluded that “addressing each case individually would be an ‘enormous drain’ on legal resources.” Constitutional rights are just one example of the types of litigation that class action lawsuits can involve, but there is more information about other areas such as defective products or consumer fraud can be found on our website. If you believe a company or government entity has wronged you and several others, you can contact our firm at (800) 687-3333 or use the form on this page to have our class action lawyers review your case.
Stanley Iola, LLP – Class action lawyers