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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"
Old 05-17-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday the federal government has the power to keep some sex offenders behind bars indefinitely after they have served their sentences if officials determine those inmates may prove "sexually dangerous" in the future.
Quote:
At issue was the constitutionality of federal "civil commitment" for sex offenders who are nearing the end of their confinement or who are considered too mentally incompetent to stand trial.

The main plaintiff in the case, Graydon Comstock, was certified as dangerous six days before his 37-month federal prison term for processing child pornography was to end. Comstock and the others filing suit remain confined at Butner Federal Correctional Complex near Raleigh, North Carolina.
Quote:
All were set to be released nearly three years ago, but government appeals have blocked their freedom. The government says about 83 people are being held under the civil commitment program.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/17/...ex.html?hpt=T1

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Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"
Old 05-17-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"

I agree with it to an extent..I guess. Especially if it's a child sex offender.

However holding someone after their release date that had been decided seems so very wrong, especially for sex offense and not something like murder. I understand it's the whole "This person isn't rehabilitated" stance, and agree that's a good reason to keep someone in. However it could also prove to keep rehabilitated people in jail just because a handful of dudes don't think he's okay, which is almost like false imprisonment, so long as his time is up.

The judge and courts decide on X years for a sex offender, and after that X years can just say "Nah, kidding, you're staying here for a while. We'll tell you when you can go."

I say all or nothing. Either they should be able to hold every person in jail longer than their sentence, or nobody.

But if it's for anything, I definitely think it should be enacted for murder, because I don't think 'the system' is hard enough on people who kill people.
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Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"
Old 05-17-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"

Sex offenders are a big problem. I mean, what do you do with someone who likes to fuck children? On one hand, the sex offender is probably a victim themselves, and they are probably in need of serious rehabilitation. Prison is not rehabilitation of course...but since rehabilitation is moderately effective at best, prison has the appeal of keeping these people away from the kids. It's just a thing, the whole mess of it.

Personally, I think this ruling by the Supreme Court is bad because it sets expectations and future precedence that could be abused. The current legal system already has dropped the ball on providing good legislation regarding sex offenders: you become a sex offender if you get caught taking a piss in public. It's pure insanity! But yeah. On one hand I see why this law could be deemed noble, but I think if people were willing they could come up with better solutions that waste less tax payer money.
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Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"
Old 05-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"

At first glance, this ruling looked so insane that I knew there had to be some nuances I was missing. So I did a little more digging and read part of the actual ruling.

This Supreme Court Case is about the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which allows the government to civilly commit someone who is already held in custody and deemed to be "sexually dangerous." In other words, the government can put someone in a mental institution (NOT prison) indefinitely even after they have served their jail sentence. In order to do this, the government must present "clear and convincing evidence that this is a sexually dangerous person." To non-legal people, this seems like a fairly mundane phrase, but lawyers and legal watchers understand that "clear and convincing evidence" and "sexually dangerous" have very strict definitions under the law. "Clear and convincing evidence" is a high standard of proof just below "beyond reasonable doubt." The reason they don't use "beyond reasonable doubt" is because this is a civil, not criminal, case. The government has long had the power to "civilly commit" someone to a mental institution, and it's been deemed constitutional. And a "sexually dangerous person" is defined as one who has engaged in sexually violent conduct or child molestation or is suffering from a serious mental illness such that he or she would have "serious difficulty" refraining from sexually violent conduct.

So in other words, if the federal government can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is dangerous or seriously mentally ill, it has the authority to hold him in a mental institution after he has served his prison sentence. And they can hold him there until he is deemed no longer dangerous. What you should also know is that this authority already existed. It was just that it used to be only states who could do that. This case says that the federal government can now hold someone if a state refuses to do it for some reason.

I know there is a slippery slope problem here, but it seems to me that the government is being pretty careful about how they define this power. That's why the Supreme Court allowed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoid
But if it's for anything, I definitely think it should be enacted for murder, because I don't think 'the system' is hard enough on people who kill people.
That's what the sentence "life without the possibility of parole" is for.
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Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"
Old 05-20-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Indefinite Imprisonment"

We already have indefinite imprisonment. It's called marriage! Amirite folks? Yeah? Yeah? The fellas in the audience know what I'm talking about! That's right. Come on ladies, I'm just joshin ya.
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