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Iowa House Approves Civil Containment Legislation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa House has passed a bill intended to keep sexually violent predators off the streets.
Lawmakers unanimously approved the measure 97-0 Wednesday. It now returns to the Senate for final review.
The bill would allow people convicted of a violent sexual offense as a juvenile to be sent to a civil containment unit for sexually violent predators upon release from prison.
Republican Rep. Greg Heartsill, from Melcher-Dallas, says taking this step is needed to ensure the safety of all Iowans.
Democratic Rep. Mary Lynn Wolfe, from Clinton, says predators like Michael Klunder, who authorities say abducted and killed 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard last year, would have been kept in civil containment instead of being freed. Wolfe says the Shepard case may have been different had the legislation been in place.
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