Supreme Court Rules That Some Sex Offenders Can Be Held Indefinitely

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Steely Dan, May 17, 2010.

  1. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday the federal government has the power to indefinitely keep some sex offenders behind bars after they have served their sentences, if officials determine those inmates may prove "sexually dangerous" in the future.

    "The federal government, as custodian of its prisoners, has the constitutional power to act in order to protect nearby (and other) communities from the danger such prisoners may pose," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the 7-2 majority.
     
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  3. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    I have mixed emotions on this. I DEFINITELY agree with keeping sex offenders locked up for life. I just don't like the way it's being done. I don't think the government should have the right to hold anyone after their sentence has been served. I think the best answer is to increase the sentences for sex offenders. JMO
     
  4. Vegas Bride

    Vegas Bride New Member

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    This is good news!!

    VB
     
  5. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    I feel the same steely dan. I wish that the sentences were increased to keep these offenders behind bars across every state. I agree with sentencing sex offenders (esp. violent ones) behind bars for the rest of their natural lifes to protect society.

    I have reservations of this particular bit of news. I am wary of having the Govn step in where the state should. JMHO.
     
  6. krt

    krt Inactive

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    This law is very odd and dangerous.........where do they draw the line at? I loathe sexual predators and I personally think ANYONE that rapes someone 14 and under should receive MANDATORY life imprisonment.........THAT is what the "new" law should be. This "new" law is not the way to go about it VERY controversial PLUS couldn't someone sue the federal gov if one is let out and then rapes again? Just make it mandatory life anyone who rapes someone 14 and under!
     
  7. kbl8201

    kbl8201 Former Member

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    they should just sentnece them all to life.

    but if this ruling prevents another gardner or garrido, im for it
     
  8. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Finally!!!! This will lead to better laws, I believe. :woohoo:
     
  9. rabidstoat

    rabidstoat Active Member

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    I apparently feel like many who have posted so far: I don't want them let out either, but just seems like the wrong way to go about doing it. The fact that you're holding people without trial or recourse, apparently, at the federal government's say, just seems to go against the Constitution. I know this passed 7-2. I guess I need to read the supporting statement more, I just don't get how this is Constitutional at all.

    That said, I think true sexual deviants will be predators forever and that letting them out is just setting them up to victimize again. So it's hard for me to say I don't support the intention. I just don't support the way it's done.

    Why can't the sentencing guidelines change? That seems the most legal recourse.
     
  10. fran

    fran Former Member

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    I would be the FIRST to vote for HARSHER sentences for these sexual predators, but I too think this is NOT the way to go about it and completely against our Constitution!

    This is a very dangerous precendent to be setting. First the terrorists, wasn't it? Now the 'sexual predators.' Who's next?

    I'm waiting for the lawsuits to start flying,...............or NOT! Actually, I'd be more frightened if there were NOT any lawsuits challenging this law. :(

    JMHO
    fran
     
  11. kbl8201

    kbl8201 Former Member

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    and when they get sentenced to long sentences they give the 'im a changed man' bs (garrido) or have some idiot therapist claim they arent a danger (like gardner) and they just get paroled anyways.

    life without parole or the dp would settle these issues permanently
     
  12. VespaElf

    VespaElf Little Miss Showcase(runner-up)

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    I'm in agreement with changing the laws......I personally feel ANY crime against a child(sexual or physical) should be a FEDERAL crime and demands a life sentence (and life it really means 'life'!).However maybe this will help change laws & create longer sentences.
     
  13. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    I think this is it. I don't think they can go any higher than the SC.
     
  14. legalmania

    legalmania Verified Paralegal

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    I don't think this is constitutional. How can you hold someone passed their sentence. We let murders and rapist back out into society. You should not condemn one group over another. I realize some of them don't belong back in society , but they should have some kind of half way house or mental facility they can go to, that specialize in the mentality of these people. They are sick and that's the way they should be treated.
     
  15. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

    "First They Came for the Jews"
    By Pastor Niemoller

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
     
  16. rabidstoat

    rabidstoat Active Member

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    Okay, I was sufficiently disturbed by this to start reading the Supreme Court official ruling, which can be found here:

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1224.pdf

    And now I feel a little better about it.

    From what I can tell so far, there are three conditions required to continue to incarcerate the individual: (1) has "previously engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation," (2) currently "suffers from a serious mental illness, disorder, or abnormality", and, (3) "as a result of" that mental illness, abnormality, or disorder is "sexually dangerous to others," in that "he would have serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released."

    So what happens if, prior to the release of a predatory sexual offender, the states already had (at least in some cases, from what I can tell) authority to continue to hold the person. This is extended that to the federal level.

    It's someone acting in the capacity of the Department of Justice that would initiate this process. And even then, it's not a 'we say so, back you go!' deal. A federal district judge has to rule on whether or not the three conditions are met, and it's a trial where the accused has legal representation. There is supposedly a schedule of follow-up psychiatric evaluation and scheduled reviews, including judicial reviews every six months, so it's not locking up and throwing away the key necessarily (though I imagine in practice few would get let out, as everything I've read seems to indicate the violent sexual offenders have some mental disease that cannot be cured).

    It talked about five people who had cases that were appealing to the Supreme Court, calling into question the Constitutionality of continued incarceration. So that's what the ruling is for, that in general IF THERE IS DUE PROCESS and conditions are met on the DOJ's side for establishing beyond a reasonable doubt the dangers, that the process of extending incarceration was not inherently unconstitutional. Individual cases were decided elsewhere, and it sounds like it was split between those where the decision to incarcerate them further was upheld, and those where they were released.
     
  17. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    To me the answer is to make crimes like serial rape felonies that are life without parole. Then there is no need for this. My concern is that this sets a very dangerous precedent. I'd love to see those guys locked away for life but not at the governments discretion after a sentence is served.
     
  18. Apostapler

    Apostapler New Member

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    I echo everyone's opinion on this. They've got the right idea but they're going about it the wrong way, and it's going to cost them if they do it this way. There will be lawsuits by prisoners who should by law be parolees, because this is definitely unconstitutional.

    Lock em up permanently the first time, and this wouldn't happen.
     
  19. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    If the judges would just do their jobs and stop handing out piddly sentences to people who hurt children, this would be completely unneccesary. Why not just mandate LWOP for these "certain" sex offenders?
     
  20. Natal

    Natal Former Member

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    I'm confused about what that means though. Three of the five were in prison for possesion of child pornography, surely that would not meet the first test namely "previously engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation," ?

    If that is the test, then those three would have to be released, even if they had some mental defect, if I'm reading that correctly.
     
  21. Natal

    Natal Former Member

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    Since it is the supreme court ruling on it, it most definitely IS constitutional (that is the court's role after all)
     

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