The Iowa Civil Liberties Union is suing the state over the way so-called “sexual predators” are held once their prison term’s up. A state law allows a court to order a “sexually-violent predator” to indefinite medical treatment once their prison term’s done if they pose a threat to the public. I-C-L-U legal director Randall Wilson says “civil commitment” hearings are often delayed, and those who’ve served their prison time end up in solitary confinement until the matter’s settled.Wilson says inmates who were in the general prison population get shut up in a cell by themselves once they’re eligible for parole as they await the hearing deciding if they’re a sexually-violent predator in need of civil commitment.The I-C-L-U lawsuit contends it’s “inexcusable” that men who’s completed their sentences are being held in virtual lockdown conditions more harsh than those faced by regular prisoners. The I-C-L-U’s executive director says if “we as a society say it’s o-k to put people in solitary confinement without a trial because we despise them, then we really have to ask ourselves who else will be deemed undeserving” in the future………………………………………………………………….A farm co-op’s striking a blow against makers of the illegal drug methamphetamine.The drug stinks, one reason illegal labs are often located out in the countryside. But another is that meth cookers use a common fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, as one ingredient in making the drug. Not only do they steal small amounts from farmers’ storage tanks, if they leave a valve open the whole tank can drain, a costly and sometimes dangerous occurrence. Farmland co-op spokeswoman Sara Schmidt says an incident highlighted the need for security she says meth-making thieves left an anhydrous tank valve open and let a cloud of ammonia float over the town, which had to be evacuated. Schmidt says there was a tank-lock design already, but it was costly and couldn’t be used in the field.Schmidt says the 89-dollar portable tank lock will be offered to independent dealers as well as co-ops in the Farmland chain, and they may use them on store tanks as well as selling the locks. She says it’s up to local coops to protect their product.Schmidt says both the economic cost to farmers and the public-safety risk of ammonia thefts drove the creation of the new tank locks.
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