Prosecutors testify against longer minimum sentences

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Some Vermont prosecutors say there are more effective ways to crack down on sex offenders than imposing longer mandatory minimum sentences.

The attorneys testified Friday on the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the state’s sex offender laws. Thos hearing were called following the abduction and death of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett of Braintree earlier this summer.

The prosecutors warn that lengthy minimum prison terms under the so-called Jessica’s Laws could lead to more trials and more acquittals since the cases rely on sometimes shaky evidence.

Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand says while it’s understandable that people are outraged, he says the most important step the state can take is to expand and fully staff its sex crime investigation units.

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