Skip to main content

View Diary: SCOTUS: Congress Can Lock Up Sexually Dangerous Persons (371 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Im not a liberal (14+ / 0-)

    when it comes to sexual offenders.  I have a child, i cannot be objective about this.

    http://protestarizona.com

    by GlowNZ on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:27:07 AM PDT

    •  so you are willing (32+ / 0-)

      to throw away the rule of law?  If these people are a danger have longer prison terms, dont do shit like this.

      This along with enemy combatents is a very slippery slope. Keeping people looked up simply because someone behind a curtain thinks they may be a danger is NOT what this country is about,  but than again I dont have a clue anymore what this fucking place is about.  It disappoints me everyday.

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:30:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  giving a judge the power (21+ / 0-)

        to overrule a jury and sentence someone, regardless how heinous the crime, to a term that amounts to "whatever the fuck I feel like sentencing them to" makes every prison a Gitmo, and every trial less worthy of the term than the military tribunals that so many here object to.

        Anyone who approves of this, and disapproves of Gitmo or the "black site" prisons, is a fucking hypocrite.

        •  This is the first cousin to "Three Strikes" (7+ / 0-)

          reserved for a particular class of persons comminging a specific range of violations. Not that I agree with it, but it sure does emphasize the risk of the slippery slope when it comes to punitive stuff.

          •  its not really. (4+ / 0-)

            the Three Strikes is first cousin to mandatory sentencing, but they all take place at sentencing time, whereas this takes place post-sentence.  

            What it is first cousin to is being involuntarily committed to a mental institution, but it uses the prison system as a means to house mental patients.  

            "They're trying to fool you. They're trying to scare you. And they're not telling you the truth." Obama '08

            by bawbie on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:02:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly, it's not so much they're held, it's... (0+ / 0-)

              where they continue to be held.  If they issue is the inmates mental state, then he should not continue to be held in a penal institution.  

              What do we stand for?

              knuckle-dragging Neanderthals

              by Deadicated Marxist on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:18:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agree. (3+ / 0-)

                As a society, we already have laws in place to manage and segregate those who are deemed dangerous to self or others.

                We punish people for crimes committed.  We don't punish them for crimes they might commit, or crimes they will probably commit.

                At least, that's what I was raised to believe was part of my national heritage.

                Hope and Change: get on the train or get off the tracks.

                by ozoozol on Mon May 17, 2010 at 01:06:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is supposed to be segregation (0+ / 0-)

                  not punishment.

                  We are taking someone who we believe cannot be preventing from victimizing more people and segregating him in a penal institution.

                  If we thought we could "cure" this person we would, but we can't.

                  I put "cure" in quotes because it is far from clear that this person is sick in any clinical sense.  He has certain sexual compulsions, but most of us have those and would have great difficulty complying with laws that prohibited us from satisfying them.  The problem is that his compulsions violate the law and victimize others.  In a society such as ancient Greece or the antebellum South if he owned slaves this person might be able to be a fine upstanding citizen.  In our society he is a menace.

        •  there is a big difference between (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          expatjourno, filby

          violent crimes that are basically political and violent crimes that are basically psychological/sexual.

          the latter are much more intrinsic.  i have never heard anyone seriously argue that being a terrorist is a mental illness.

          •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            condorcet

            There are studies that show the more ingrained the Gender roles are in a society, the higher the rates of sex abuse.  I would also bet you would find a correlation between the higher rates of religion and the number of religious terrorists.  Both of these seem to reflect the society these people were raised in.

            I don't see how you are drawing a line between the psychological terrorism of murder and the psychological terror of abuse.

            •  good point (0+ / 0-)

              many things considered violent sex crimes in US could be fairly common and fairly acceptable in different societies.  if it is not uncommon for a man to rape his wife/wives and also not uncommon for a man to marry a child, then child rape could be somewhat accepted.

              the main issue here i think is mental state, whether the person is seriously mentally ill and how much control the person has over his behavior.

              i don't think of terrorism as murder.  i think of it as war, as a matter of politics.

              politics change easily.  a person's basic urges do not.

          •  There is actually substantial evidence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            condorcet

            that there is a significant genetic component to criminality.

            This may be factors as simple as poor impulse control, aggression, low empathy, and low intelligence (reducing the ability to gain one's goals in legal ways and one's ability to forecast the negative consequences of one's actions).  

            Assuming that this is correct, being a criminal (and likely being a terrorist) may be correlated with particular kinds of mind.

            Whether or not this constitutes mental illness depends more on our definition of "mental illness" than on the underlying facts.

        •  i should also have said that it (4+ / 0-)

          makes no sense to equate ppl who have never had any due process to ppl who have been through the legal system (often more than once) and have been declared mentally ill and dangerous by doctors.

      •  slippery slope (4+ / 0-)

        Recidivism is quite common--especially for very poor an ill educated criminals--wanna keep them in jail forever?

      •  This is a tough one.. (9+ / 0-)

        But I have to agree with the slippery slope argument here. Which forces me to agree with Roberts and Thomas.  it is not within the limited powers we, the People, have granted to the federal government.

        If not violent sexual offenses, why not violent anti-government offenses?  Let's lock up and throw away the key for violent political offenses?  For the good of society, of course.  And, oh.. let's extend this to "potentially" violent acts whjile we're at it.. or terrorist acts in the planning stage.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:40:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Different question (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ben masel, wader, BachFan, JSC ltd, Loge

          The Supremes assumed that Due Process had been met, they didn't rule on that issue. That's an avenue that's still open for an appeal.

        •  Well (5+ / 0-)

          all of the Justices agreed that civil confinement post-sentence was Constitutional, if maintained by the states (with presumably a federal right to review).  The only issue was whether the federal government could maintain this.

          Justice Thomas, in my view, did get the better of the argument.  I don't see how, under Lopez and Morrison, the risk of future sexual abuse is "economic activity," and therefore I don't see this as incident to any enumerated federal power.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:47:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they didn't go with economic activity (6+ / 0-)

            But a more attenuated, "the underlying federal crime is constitutional, so further confinement post-crime is as well."

            •  Right, but Thomas's dissent (7+ / 0-)

              said the further commitment had to be viewed in light of an independent regulatory power.  I think he's right on this one.  If civil confinement isn't punitive, as everyone in the litigation conveniently pretends it is not, then I don't see how it can be "necessary or proper" to the exercise of federal criminal jurisdiction.  So, if you look at the civil confinement statute from first principles, there's not a commerce clause justification under existing law.  

              In other words, Justice Thomas did a better job of articulating the legal issue, in my view.

              I also, as a personal and policy matter, assume that any law named for the victim of a crime, especially where that person is a minor, is unconstitutional unless proven otherwise.  I absolutely abhor the "victim's rights" movement.  Why even have a justice system if law is nothing more than a vehicle for retribution.  

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This case had nothing (11+ / 0-)

        to do with the constitutional legallity of indefinate detention.  It was about whether the Federal Government had the authority to under the Constitution to enact this law.

        As the article notes the due process issues were not addressed by this case.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:40:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is where my brain goes all fuzzy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deadicated Marxist

          when trying to understand how the court deals with constitutionality.

          So they said that its constitutional for Congress to pass an indefinite detention law, even though that law may not be constitutional.

          ???

          "They're trying to fool you. They're trying to scare you. And they're not telling you the truth." Obama '08

          by bawbie on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:04:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Due Process (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam B, David in NY

            issue was dealt with in 1997.  In a 5 to 4 ruling the court held that STATES could indefinately hold convicts.  

            This case decided whether the Federal Government could make such a requirement.  

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:38:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No. (17+ / 0-)

        What GlowNZ is saying is that ze doesn't feel able to view this particular case objectively. Recognizing that is a mature thing. Once in a while, adults recognize that they cannot be reasoned and objective on a particular issue that is too close to their heart. That's okay.

        There is a mother I know who lost her child because of a driver under the influence ramming the car. A member of her family was called to jury duty in the subsequent court case, and was immediately excused. Surely you can see why.

        People are not cold machines. Sometimes people recognize that they themselves are not objective regarding specific issues. Since GlowNZ is not a Supreme Court Justice or a judge, that's okay.

        Nothing at all wrong with recognizing that sometimes we aren't objective. It's human.

        /compassion. It's what's for dinner.

      •  You know I always wondered about... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phenry, corvo

        …people being put on the sex offenders list when that wasn't part of their original sentence.

        I have no problem with increased incarceration of sex offenders, if that is either spelled out at their sentencing or is a result of their behavior while incarcerated.

        I have a daughter, and I don't want these people on the streets, but I also am firmly in the camp of the rule of law.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com

        by DemSign on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:41:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The opinion mentioned (7+ / 0-)

          that the civil confinement under the statute required a showing in a separate proceeding of clear and convincing evidence.

          I think the more interesting question is how someone who's incarcerated, with no source of funds to pay an attorney or experts to testify will be able to rebut this showing.  The prison psychiatrists have professional obligations, but they also know on what side their bread is buttered.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:49:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know the answer ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... as to whether the right to counsel attached to such hearings.  I'd bet it did, but don't know the caselaw here.

            •  i assumed the right to counsel applied (0+ / 0-)

              since this is a quasi-criminal proceeding, but i don't see that as beginning to address the inequity issue.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:17:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  A person subject to this procedure (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam B, bawbie, SlackwareGrrl

            has a right to counsel (but whether statutory or constitutional, I'm not sure).  In this case, the defendant was represented by an Assistant Federal Defender and his colleagues, appointed as counsel.  They raised this issue and did a fine job, winning the case on this ground in the Fourth Circuit.   Other issues, such as the due process issues mentioned in other comments, were not resolved, and remain to be considered in the lower courts.  

      •  these are civil commitments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        condorcet

        we do it all the time for those who are mentally ill and a threat to society.

        So long as they are getting treatment and continual review, in theory, this isn't "throwing away the rule of law."

      •  This is not a slippery slope... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        spencerh

        This is sliding down the slope. A frightening ruling. We will start seeing the repercussions of this immediately.

        "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

        by shmuelman on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:00:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This isn't a criminal case (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JSC ltd

          Although it is in the context of the indefinite detention of a sex offender, this is a case about the limits of Congressional power.  I'm not at all surprised that Scalia and Thomas dissented.  Their votes in recent cases show that they want to see judicial power expanded. This case may end up helping the federal government defeat all those cases against the HIR law that those misguided attorneys general have filed.

      •  I think GlowNZ was just stating that emotionally (0+ / 0-)

        he could not be objective in this discussion, not that he advocated for throwing away the "rule of law."

        I am, myself, divided in my thoughts.  The rule of law must be preserved or all can suffer the abuse.  I am in agreement with you on this.

        The problem with violent sexual offenders and pedophiles is that they do not stop and continue to be a danger to the community.  I have no answer for this but do not believe that perpetual imprisonment at the whim of the government is the solution. This certainly seems to me to open itself for every manner of abuse.  

      •  a question: would this apply to fucking priests? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        third Party please

        IF SO, then maybe I will think it would be a good idea.  Lock up all those bastards.

        If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

        by SeaTurtle on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Take a step back for a moment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JSC ltd

        What is the precedent of this case?  It isn't really whether some sexual predator can be locked up, although that is the context.  It really is about the extent of legislative power under the "necessary and proper" clause.

        I can think of something right now that may well benefit from broader application of the "necessary and proper" clause:  Health Insurance Reform.  Several state Attorneys General are contesting it in court right now claiming that Congress doesn't have the power to enact HIR under Art. I.  This gives Congress a little more power.

      •  Longer prison terms for all are not the (0+ / 0-)

        best answer.

        If these people are a danger have longer prison terms

        Same crime but two different people may demand a different response.

        One person may be a criminal who cares nothing for the harm he does for others and enjoys the crimes he commits but who can be deterred by punishment.

        Another can quite literally have a compulsion that he cannot control whatever the consequences.

        The first needs an appropriate prison term.  The second needs to be supervised and possible incarcerated for life.

        I don't see the value to putting the first person away for life if we can stop him with less.  For the second we have no choice.  

    •  I know what you mean... (8+ / 0-)

      Constitutionally speaking, this ruling is kinda suckey.  You can detain a person beyond their legal sentence?  I mean, why not just change the sentencing statutes?

      But I really understand the issue as a parent.  Child molesters have an extremely high recidivism.  And they clearly are a danger to children and society.  However, I have seen many ordinary people who have got caught up in this, even though they haven't done anything.    

      To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

      by RichM on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What you'll probably see is a number of states... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquagranny911

        ...imposing tougher sentences to take the ball out of the judges' hands completely.

        And why not? It's not like tougher sentences for sex offenders is a politically risky venture.

      •  See, that's the thing (6+ / 0-)

        If a 20 yr old guy has consentual sex with a 16 yr old girl, and her parents bring charges, in many states that gets him on the sex offenders list.

        Or it could happen if a guy gets drunk and pees into the bushes and some kid sees him.

        I think we need to be really, really, really careful about how we deal with this.

        I can understand - I truly do. Some of these criminals really do need to be locked up forever.

        But their sentences should be given that way - life without parole.

        Maybe if judges had a bit more leeway in sentencing, we might not need to lock up seriously dangerous sex offenders longer than their sentence.

      •  I've Seen Contradictions to That Stats Claim (0+ / 0-)

        High er than many/most other crimes yes.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:53:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that (0+ / 0-)

          the more recent studies suggest that sexual offenders in general do not re-offend at much greater rates, if greater at all, than offenders who are convicted of other crimes.  Sorry, no time for links right now.  I think that as an empirical matter the potential for re-offending may not provide any better basis for indefinitely confining sex offenders than it provides for indefinitely confining those who commit other crimes.

          •  I think that (0+ / 0-)

            You would be wrong.  The statistics are contradictory at best.  Please see this review of studies done on this topic:

            http://www.csom.org/...

            •  I may have missed it, (0+ / 0-)

              but I don't think that paper addresses my point at all.  The interesting question, as I see it, is whether it's true that sex offenders are different from other offenders in their rates of recidivism -- that is, do they re-offend more, as many believe?  Based on a quick skim, that seems not to be addressed by the paper you cite.  It addresses only:

              # What is the likelihood that a specific offender will commit subsequent sex crimes?

               # Under what circumstances is this offender least likely to reoffend?
               # What can be done to reduce the likelihood of reoffense?

              If, as I think, the differences between reoffense rates of those who rob and assault is no different than that of sex offenders, the question is why do we indefinitely incarcerate only sex offenders?  And will robbers and other criminals be next?  And is that justified?  

      •  Generally speaking (0+ / 0-)

        People accused of those crimes actually do not have particularly high recidivism, by the way. This is a myth from TV. It's actually lower than average.

        •  Child molesters? (0+ / 0-)

          I would really like to see the data on that.  Do you have a link?

          To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

          by RichM on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:23:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wikipedia (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            condorcet

            According to the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice,[3]  in New York State the recidivism rates for sex offenders have been shown to be lower than any other crime except murder. Another report from the OJP that studied recidivism of prisoners released in 1994 in 15 states accounting for two-thirds of all prisoners released in the United States that year,[4]  reached the same conclusion.

            You might want to check the actual sources listed, I don't know if I trust Wikipedia itself, but it sounds plausible.

            •  Try checking child sexual abuse (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JSC ltd

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Estimated rates of recidivism among child sex offenders vary. One study found that 42% of offenders re-offended (either a sex crime, violent crime, or both) after they were released. Risk for re-offense was highest in the first 6 years after release, but continued to be significant even 10–31 years later, with 23% offending during this time.[123] A study done in California in 1965 found a 18.2% recidivism rate for offenders targeting the opposite sex and a 34.5% recidivism rate for same-sex offenders after 5 years.[124]

              Different animal.

              A guy who rapes a girl after a drunk party is probably not a threat after 35 or 40.

              A guy with a compulsion to have sex with children frequently remains a threat until he dies.

              •  This doesn't answer (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Othniel Kenaz

                the question at issue, whether these recidivism rates are any worse than for non-sex-offenders.  If they're the same, then we need a justification for just locking sex offenders up forever and not robbers.

                Even by these states, well over half of "child sex offenders" do not re-offend, and some of those who do do not reoffend with another sex crime.  So if we confine sex offenders forever, we're needlessly incarcerating over half of the confined population, at enormous expense and enormous injustice.  And I have little confidence in the capacity of "criminal justice experts" to forecast the future, and know who will reoffend and who won't.

        •  No, actually.... (0+ / 0-)

          Meta analyses of research (not just the one study done in New York) are contradictory...some show higher rates of recidivism than other crimes.  More importantly, the rates are higher for specific types of molestation compared to others....please see:

          http://www.csom.org/...

          •  Except (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see where that review says what you say it does.  Maybe you could give us a quote or a cite to a particular section or page.  I don't see that it ever compares the recidivism rates of non-sex-offenders to sex offenders, but it's hard to read without printing out, and I can't do that here.  

      •  I'm starting to repeat myself, but this isn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JSC ltd, shekissesfrogs

        a criminal case.  It is a case about the limits of Congressional power under the "necessary and proper" clause.  It's not about double jeopardy.  It's not about cruel and unusual punishment.  It is about Congressional power, plain and simple.  Don't mistake the end result of the case with its holding.

    •  I have a diaghter and I am a liberal (16+ / 0-)

      I see this as a slippery slope leading to abuses.

      The Soviets used mental illness as an excuse to lock up dissidents.  Find a label to slap on someone and persecute that label.

      If the person is dangerous after sentence, then figure out how to get them committed to a mental health treatment facility the the usual way.

      I want my daughter to be proud of the justice system in her country, not afraid of it.

      Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

      by nightsweat on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:31:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I'm with you (7+ / 0-)

      The liberal in me will find a better hill to die on than the rights of dangerous sex offenders.  

      Again, I make no apologies.  

      •  Then that is the hill where all our rights die. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shekissesfrogs

        If there is to be an irreversible erosion of our constitutional rights to due process, there is no doubt in my mind that the shift will come slowly, and in the form of rulings like these.

        When we fudge our principles to mete out unequal treatment on a group that is notionally hated by everyone (i.e., terrorists or pedophiles), we will eventually be left with a hollowed out system of justice that can and will be used to ensnare most anyone.

        I am most definitely concerned with the treatment of pedophiles in our system -- not because I support them, but precisely because nobody supports them.

        http://coolbluereason.blogspot.com/

        by Cool Blue Reason on Mon May 17, 2010 at 01:46:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So what if we lose someone to terrorism? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, corvo, esquimaux, DRo

      Does that mean we can then support elimination of constitutional rights for suspected terrorists?

      I was mugged once. So can I support holding muggers indefinitely?

      "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

      by Common Cents on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:41:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Child molesters are mentally ill by definition. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe Bob, third Party please, ThAnswr

        And there's really no cure.

        The same is not true about muggers.

        Barack Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

        by expatjourno on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:56:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's no cure? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deadicated Marxist

          Alcoholism has no cure and drunk drivers kill more people per year than Al Qeada. Not to mention they are very likely to abuse their families and others.

          Can we just throw them all away then?

          "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."-Jessica Rabbbit

          by Common Cents on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:59:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alcoholism is something I know a lot about. (0+ / 0-)

            And this would immediately turn into an OT semantic discussion, so I'll pass.

            Barack Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

            by expatjourno on Mon May 17, 2010 at 01:33:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How does that make sense? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deadicated Marxist, condorcet

          If they were "by definition" mentally ill, why were they sent to prison in the first place? Should they not have been civilly committed from the outset? Our system typically limits the criminal culpability of those with incurable mental illness.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Mon May 17, 2010 at 10:29:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That may be the answer. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Barack Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

            by expatjourno on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:06:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Let me restate that: I was talking out of my ass. (0+ / 0-)

            I hate it when other people do that, so please forget I said anything.

            Barack Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

            by expatjourno on Mon May 17, 2010 at 01:34:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, actually (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JSC ltd

            Estimated rates of recidivism among child sex offenders vary. One study found that 42% of offenders re-offended (either a sex crime, violent crime, or both) after they were released. Risk for re-offense was highest in the first 6 years after release, but continued to be significant even 10–31 years later, with 23% offending during this time.[123] A study done in California in 1965 found a 18.2% recidivism rate for offenders targeting the opposite sex and a 34.5% recidivism rate for same-sex offenders after 5 years.[124]

            No, actually.  We only limit it if you cannot understand that what you did was wrong or were totally unable to control your compulsion.

            As an example, let's say you suddenly turn around in a bus, kill the person sitting next to you, cut off his head, and begin eating his body parts.  You'll probably be committed rather than convicted.

            In contrast, if you do the same thing surreptitiously, trapping an isolated person and taking reasonable care to avoid being caught then the fact that you were able to control yourself in public and that you clearly knew that you had to hide what you did makes it unlikely that you will be able to successfully plead insanity.

    •  Our instinct and obligation to protect children (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, filby

      is fundamental to our being.  Many times our society does a piss poor job of it.  Children cannot protect themselves.  Situations like these challenge us to do it right.

      "Goldman Sachs forced to legally change name to 'Goldman Sachs,Those Bastards'...The Onion February 1, 2010

      by St Louis Woman on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have met and represented children (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfdunphy, ravenwind, condorcet

        who have been labeled by a juvenile court as a "sexual predator" at age 8 or 10. Talk to any social worker in a foster care program or a mental health system, and they can describe numerous kids like this. The label is based on their sexually aggressive behaviors toward other younger, smaller kids. Invariably these "predators" have been the victims of sexual abuse themselves. On one hand, I've always been uncomfortable with damning a child to a lifetime of incarceration (whether in juvenile detention, mental wards, jails or prisons) because of what some adult did to them as a child.  On the other hand, letting them loose to victimize other kids isn't a viable option, either.

    •  You could've stopped with the subject (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, dark daze

      of your comment.

    •  At least it's not the death penalty. (0+ / 0-)

      But I would AT LEAST like a structure for reviewing someone's commitment from time-to-time.

      And preferably not by political appointees or candidates because we've seen the abuses that political creatures can apply to make themselves seem that much more "upright" in the public view.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Understood (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby

      It's why we try to appoint unimpassioned persons to the posts so they can remain clear about the interpretation of law.

      Catholic Church: Example of Religion thats TOO BIG TO FAIL

      by Detroit Mark on Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:50:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a father, I am downright medieval (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      third Party please

      when it comes to sexual predators.

      Come To Arizona - It's a DRY Hate!

      by kitebro on Mon May 17, 2010 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site