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Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen questions sentencing commission's conduct

The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission has recently drawn the ire of some legislators, victims’ advocates, and law enforcement for establishing a five-year maximum for probation.

Ingebrigtsen
Ingebrigtsen

ST. PAUL — State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria introduced legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 2 requiring Senate confirmation of Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission members appointed by the governor.

The commission has recently drawn the ire of some legislators, victims’ advocates, and law enforcement for establishing a five-year maximum for probation. Legislators pressured the commission to take a position after they postponed a planned vote to reduce sentences for crimes committed while on probation, according to Ingebrigtsen.

“The recent conduct of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission raises some serious concerns about the direction of the group,” Ingebrigtsen said in a news release. “With a split Legislature limiting our ability to overrule their actions, this sets a dangerous precedent on the authority of the commission and influence of executive control. We need to resolve this.”

The commission includes 11 members, seven of whom are appointed by the governor. They include one public defender, one county attorney, one peace officer, one probation or parole officer, and three members of the public, one of whom must be the victim of a felony crime. The remaining positions are held by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court or a designee.

—Echo Press staff report

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