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Thread: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

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    Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitelyYAY, I got it right. Threads merged and in BN-MSM
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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    i don't agree. we don't incarcerate people for crimes they might commit. these offenders were given a specific snetence and should be required to fulfill that, and be released.

    the answer is to change existing sentencing laws regarding hard core sex offenders. maybe life in prison, and if paroled require them to live in specifically built residences, with strict rules.

    we don't keep murderers in prison after they've served their sentence. it's discrimination, pure and simple.
    I probably should reserve saying I agree until I read the decision itself. However, it's hard for me to find a problem when the most liberal justices find that the statute isn't unconstitutional.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    There are a lot of mental illnesses that we have no cure for, yet we put these people in asylums (or at least we used to before the 80s). If someone is having these sorts of urges that they cannot control, they are not well. I think we should reserve jail for those who have a conscious choice over their actions and can be rehabilitated through punishment.

    Also, there should be strict standards for due process on this sort of thing and it should never be a matter of the parole committee not knowing what to do with the inmate and resorting to this because of that.
    Sex crimes aren't 'mental illness'

    These people can still function as regular people. They can work, read, educate and care for their selves.

    You might not know what a mental-ward is like, but usually those with real mental illnesses pose a repeated threat to their selves and others. They're closely monitored, checked in on and medicated as is necessary. Security is far more strict and so are protocols and measures taken. Contact with the outside is more limited and far more closely monitored.

    A sex offender, if taken away from the temptation, isn't going to harm someone via their weakness. They simply, like a murderer or drug user, find it extremely hard to control their impulses and what they consider "needs." So, like a murderer or drug user, should be kept away from their problem as much as possible.

    Thus, they'll do fine in the regular population. Those who are truly ill and need extensive care need to be in the mental-ward.

    On top of the difference between the mentally ill and those who are just compulsive those in a mental-ward cost the state more money and are more demanding (legally and otherwise) to care for.

    We need to limit the number of people in the mental ward so they don't become overrun with non-threats or with people without imbalances and the ones who do need and deserve that extra care, caution and treatment can still be treated ideally.

    Now, if there still is an issue with the idea of having a sex-offender in with the regular population then perhaps what's really needed is a ward *just* for sex offenders - away from those who are mentally imbalanced and away from those who committed other vile crimes. There are different levels of offense and, therefore, there are different levels of imprisonment and care - so this last suggestion, I think, might be an ok solution.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 05-17-10 at 01:26 PM.
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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Thomas and Scalia dissented. I gotta read this. I am happy with this outcome, and I love when I see the libs and the cons agree on a subject matter. Here's a link to the decision. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1224.pdf

    I accidentally put the link as the title. I apologize.

    THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY TITLE!
    I'm happy with this decision, though I still believe the decision that banned the Death Penalty in child rape cases was wrong.

    Repeat and serial offenders should not see the light of day ever. (I guess this makes me a big leftist lib)

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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Sex crimes aren't 'mental illness'

    These people can still function as regular people. They can work, read, educate and care for their selves.

    You might not know what a mental-ward is like, but usually those with real mental illnesses pose a repeated threat to their selves and others. They're closely monitored, checked in on and medicated as is necessary. Security is far more strict and so are protocols and measures taken. Contact with the outside is more limited and far more closely monitored.

    A sex offender, if taken away from the temptation, isn't going to harm someone via their weakness. They simply, like a murderer or drug user, find it extremely hard to control their impulses and what they consider "needs." So, like a murderer or drug user, should be kept away from their problem as much as possible.

    Thus, they'll do fine in the regular population. Those who are truly ill and need extensive care need to be in the mental-ward.

    On top of the difference between the mentally ill and those who are just compulsive those in a mental-ward cost the state more money and are more demanding (legally and otherwise) to care for.

    We need to limit the number of people in the mental ward so they don't become overrun with non-threats or with people without imbalances and the ones who do need and deserve that extra care, caution and treatment can still be treated ideally.

    Now, if there still is an issue with the idea of having a sex-offender in with the regular population then perhaps what's really needed is a ward *just* for sex offenders - away from those who are mentally imbalanced and away from those who committed other vile crimes. There are different levels of offense and, therefore, there are different levels of imprisonment and care - so this last suggestion, I think, might be an ok solution.
    You don't know how sex offenders would be treated in general population in prison?
    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Being a psychiatric patient does not mean that you are mentally ill.



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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Thomas and Scalia dissented. I gotta read this. I am happy with this outcome, and I love when I see the libs and the cons agree on a subject matter. Here's a link to the decision. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1224.pdf

    I accidentally put the link as the title. I apologize.

    THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY TITLE!
    So does this mean that a sex offender, who has had his day in court, has been sentenced, and has served that sentence officially delivered by the courts can then be held in prison indefinitely with no new trial or ability to defend themselves because of their crime? If so, that is unconstitutional and just about grounds for revolt. They basically just got rid of habeas corpus. If that is true, no one in their right mind could be happy about the decision.
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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    I haven't read the opinion yet, but the policy itself is highly dubious. If we all agree that sex offenses are the worst things ever, then let's change our sentencing laws to reflect that. I think the argument for indefinite detention is much weaker here than in cases dealing with terrorists, as that's an exercise of the executive's Art. II powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I think I kinda disagree with this, though I have a hard time getting worked up over it, since I loathe and detest and despise sexual predators. I think it is a dangerous precedent.

    I do find it interesting how this is one that does not fall along classical liberal/conservative divisions.
    There are actually several areas in the criminal justice context where Scalia (and often Thomas) tend to be extremely pro-defendant while most of the rest of the court tends to be pro-government. He's managed to bring a majority around to see his point of view in two of them, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing eventually happen here.

    Scalia's broad reading of the Confrontation Clause was originally a minority view, but he's since gotten a majority of the court to join him in raising the bar for what the government must prove in open court. Most prominent is the case from last year where the court decided 5-4 that forensic experts couldn't just mail in their testimony, but had to actually appear and be subject to cross-examination.

    On the issue of "honest services fraud," he's been arguing that the law was unconstitutionally vague for years. Nobody really agreed with him at first, but after hearing three cases on the topic this year, it looks like the court is ready to invalidate the law.
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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Quote Originally Posted by independent_thinker2002 View Post
    You don't know how sex offenders would be treated in general population in prison?
    The way they deserve to be treated.
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    Re: Supreme Court: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

    Some more background on the case: United States v. Comstock - ScotusWiki

    Here's what I think is the most relevant part of the opinion:

    The Court does not reach or decide any claim that the statute or its application denies equal protection, procedural or substantive due process, or any other constitutional rights. Respondents are free to pursue those claims on remand, and any others they have preserved.
    This case was entirely about whether or not Congress had the authority to pass such a law under the Necessary and Proper Clause, not whether it's okay for the government to hold people indefinitely in this situation.

    The court already heard that issue in Kansas v. Hendricks. In that case, KS actually had a state law that provided for all of the procedures post-conviction. It was upheld 5-4. with the conservatives in the majority, making this opinion all the more interesting.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 05-17-10 at 01:53 PM.
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    Re: Court: Sexually dangerous can be kept in prison

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    i'm not torn. if they've served their term, they deserve to be free as long as they follow whatever rules are in place for them. the answer is to change the laws regarding sentencing for sexual offenders. require longer sentences, maybe life sentences, and build residences where they have to live when they are paroled, and place exceptionally strict requirements on them.

    but that's NOT how the law reads now. the supreme court is wrong.
    I have to agree. Everyone is entitled to their day in court. They can defend themselves. If found guilty, they are sentenced. Once the sentence is up, that's the end of government force against the individual's rights. Done and done. You can't infinitely punish someone because we don't like the cut of their crime. In the end, it becomes nothing more than suspending habeas corpus; which is a horrible horrible thing to do and a power reserved, I believe, only for the President.

    I know no one likes sex offenders and such and we think them horrible. But we cannot allow our emotions to overcome rational and logic thought. We have to understand the limitations to the powers government has. Today the sex offender, tomorrow the drunk driver, then the terrorist....the list can keep going. We need to tread carefully and we need to understand that free means that we acknowledge the rights of others, that we place power in the sovereignty of the individual, that government is limited in what it can do, it's power is finite. Accepting growth and expansion of government instead of the consequences of freedom is a dangerous path to walk; and one I'm not willing to go down.
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