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Wrigley: Consecutive prison sentences for 'fleeing'

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Dave Thompson
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Attorney General Drew Wrigley testifying before the interim Judiciary Committee

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said law enforcement officers around the state have been telling his office there is an influx of violent offenders from out of state.

And Wrigley said the officers say almost all of them are “flight risks.”

"They'll tell you it's almost 100 percent flight risk, when they're trying to pull somebody over after a crime of some sort," Wrigley told the Legislature's interim Judiciary Committee. "They say there's flight all the time, because they're not getting additional sentences."

Wrigley said a lot of police departments have "do not pursue" policies, because of civil liability. He told the Committee he will have some proposals to help correct that situation. And Wrigley said it will include mandatory prison time for fleeing – to be served consecutively.

"Judges will say, 'I give you five years — concurrent," Wrigley said. "You're getting a bunch of freebies in there."

Wrigley said if judges do not give consecutive sentences, they will have to write down why.

"They're going to go into their next elections with a stack of 'Here's why I didn't think that assault on that officer should get additional time,'" Wrigley told the Committee. "It's great transparency and accountability. And they won't like that very much."

Wrigley also said the increased sentences might be one way to help attract candidates into police work, especially from people outside North Dakota.

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