The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday voted down a bill that would change the state’s laws on indefinite sentencing for sex offenders. The measure, Senate Bill 17, would allow judges to determine on a case-by-case basis whether to sentence sex offenders to “indeterminate sentences,” which in some cases means a life sentence.The issue of indeterminate sentencing most recently came up in 2016 when a Boulder man, Austin Wilkerson, was sentenced to two years of work release and 20 years on probation after being convicted of raping a young woman in 2014. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Wilkerson could have received from four to 12 years for the crime. But the crime also falls under the state’s lifetime supervision act, meaning Wilkerson could have gone to prison for life with the possibility of parole. Some judges have been hesitant to impose prison time because of that.Part of the problem, according to Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, is that the treatment programs that would allow sex offenders to go through treatment and then be released under the act don’t exist.
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