Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Civil Commitment Fallacy

There is a lot written and said these days about civil commitment of child molesters. These statutory schemes have been upheld by the courts in the face of constitutional challenges on the basis that they are regulatory and civil, rather than punitive and criminal. Whether it's a local district judge or a US Supreme Court justice that says it, that's a crock. It is punitive. It is criminal. And cases like the one two of my colleagues tried this week prove it. The purpose of these laws is to put so many restrictions on an individual that no one could possibly follow every condition to the letter. And when you make that screw up, BAM, back to prison you go. For life. I am happy to say, however, that, in this case, they beat the odds . . . for now. Just this morning, the jury found Mr. Alexander "not guilty."


Anonymous Michael Ten said...

If someone has broken a law, then they should be tried and brought to justice. If someone has not broken a law, then they should be able to be left alone if they want to be. Civil commitment should be abolished. Those who have broken laws should be punished. Is civil commitment for sex offenders supposed to be different than civil commitment for anyone else deemed to be a danger to others?

11/27/2012 3:47 PM  

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