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Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate calls for tougher sentences for convicted sex offenders

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
“It’s important to make sure that we are protecting the women in this state and that we’re identifying there is a problem out there," said Tudor Dixon, Republican nominee for Michigan governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon says if she’s elected governor in November she’ll push for stronger penalties for convicted sex offenders.

Dixon is spending this week outlining her public safety plan.

In a Thursday speech, Dixon laid out a plan that would, among other things, create mandatory minimum sentences for sex crimes, though the state does already have mandatory minimums for some sexual offenses.

“Make no mistake sexual predators are going to prison and we aren’t going to think twice about that,” Dixon told supporters in Pontiac.

Dixon’s Proposal:

Introduce Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Most Sex Crimes

"Michigan’s current system gives judges too much flexibility in sentencing sex offenders," Dixon said. "Victims and the communities where they live deserve to know that rapists or molesters will be in prison for a minimum number of years."

Create a “Rocket Docket” for Sex Crimes

Dixon said she would work with the state Supreme Court "to create a 'rocket docket' system" to speed the prosecution of sex crimes.

Strengthen Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Law

"Most Michiganders would be shocked to learn that our sex offender registry law does not include common-sense measures to keep our communities safe, such as prohibiting convicted sex offenders from living or hanging out around schools, day care centers, public swimming pools, and other places children congregate," said the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Dixon said she will "tighten the screws on Michigan’s sex offender registry law and make sure that it maximally protects innocent people from convicted predators."

A federal judge in Detroit ruled in 2015 that the state's law creating geographic exclusion zones for sex offenders was unconstitutional.

Launch a Governor’s Council on Strengthening Sexual Predator Laws and Improving Support Services for Victims

"Dixon would convene a council of experts including law enforcement leaders, victims’ rights advocates, legislative leaders, and others to research and recommend additional ways to improve investigation and prosecution capabilities, strengthen penalties, and better support victims," Dixon's campaign said.

The Michigan Democratic Party slammed Dixon, claiming her stance on abortion would force rape victims to give birth.

Earlier this week, in a speech in Grand Rapids, Dixon called for putting $1 billion toward hiring and retaining law enforcement officers.

But Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign said Dixon’s budget plan would actually reduce money available for Michigan law enforcement.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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