Republicans Politicize Sentencing Guidelines while Providing No Real Solutions

Minnesota was the first state in the nation to create a sentencing guidelines commission. It was established in 1978 for the purpose of developing and maintaining rational and consistent sentencing standards which reduce sentencing disparity, increase proportionality in sanctions, and ensure more equitable and uniform sentencing for convicted felons.

The commission has 11 members and six full-time staff to maintain and develop the guidelines. The commission’s members have been appointed by the governor since the commission was established over thirty years ago.

This commission has done the difficult, important work in keeping politics out of deciding sentencing standards for convicted criminals. Senate Republicans heard this week a bill that requires senate confirmation of the commission members, reinserting politics into this process to further their tough-on-crime narrative while doing nothing to provide answers to ensure all Minnesotans are safe in their communities. 

The Sentencing Guidelines Commission roots their work in empirical data and science to ensure they are providing for public safety, and any attempt by Republicans to interfere in this nonpartisan nonpolitical work is an attempt to use the lives of Minnesotans as political pawns. Senate DFLers continue to bring forward real solutions to address this recent uptick in crime and ensure the safety of all Minnesotans. (SF 2672)