VIDEO: Jensen takes aim at judges in plan to curb crime

"Repeat, violent offenders have been allowed back on the streets largely because of liberal judges releasing criminals by deviating to lower sentences," Jensen said.

Scott Jensen speaks at a press conference in St. Paul. (Alpha News)

Dr. Scott Jensen said he will only appoint judges who “commit to stopping catch and release” and sentencing “violent criminals to the top recommended penalties in Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.”

Jensen is the GOP-endorsed candidate for governor in Minnesota. He unveiled a new 10-point plan Thursday to crack down on crime in the state. This agenda will raise the penalties for crimes like carjacking, stop nonprofits like the Minnesota Freedom Fund from bailing out criminals, prevent judges from giving lower than recommended sentences and prioritize the appointment of new judges who are tough on crime.

“Repeat, violent offenders have been allowed back on the streets largely because of liberal judges releasing criminals by deviating to lower sentences or probation,” Jensen said. Alpha News has previously reported on this issue, hearing from Department of Corrections insiders who say the state is releasing more criminals than ever and frequently ignoring when criminals violate the terms of their conditional release, not sending them back to jail.

Jensen also seeks to bring new educational programs to jails and expand efforts to protect children who are victimized by criminals — both efforts aimed at reducing future criminality.

Specifically, he aims to “coordinate higher education, human services, half-way houses, nonprofits, churches and the Department of Corrections to make societal on-ramping a success for those being released.”

As for implementation, Jensen’s campaign said steps can be taken immediately. “The Jensen Administration would start immediately with executive actions and appointments,” his campaign said. “The legislature would be urged to start passing needed legislation in the first ten days of his administration.” The campaign stated that “the Commissioners of Higher Education, Human Services and Corrections will be directed to make this an immediate high priority in the Jensen Administration.”

“I have one simple question for Minnesotans, especially those in the metropolitan area: Do you feel safer than you did four years ago?” Jensen asked voters.

Violent crime has been surging across Minnesota since the George Floyd riots. Last year, the state set a record for murders, logging 17% more killings than 2020 at 185. So far this year, there have been 38 murders in Minneapolis alone, 31% more than the city typically experiences by the midway point of the year.

The increase in violence is impacting the way regular people live their lives. Most Minnesotans say they’re staying clear of their state’s largest city on account of how dangerous it has become, according to a survey conducted by the Center of the American Experiment. Minnesotans also tend to feel that crime is a long-term issue with 73% of survey respondents feeling it will take either more than a year to clean up the crime epidemic or that it will never be reversed.