Civil Commitment Laws for Sex Offenders
In the wake of New York's passing a law last week allowing sex offenders to be held in civil confinement after their prison terms are up, the New York Times examines the dubious wisdom of such laws.
Here's a snippet:
only a small fraction of committed offenders have ever completed treatment to the point where they could be released free and clear. Leroy Hendricks, a convicted child molester in Kansas, finished his prison term 13 years ago, but he remains locked up at a cost to taxpayers in that state of $185,000 a year — more than eight times the cost of keeping someone in prison there.
Mr. Hendricks, who is 72 and unsuccessfully challenged his confinement in the Supreme Court, spends most days in a wheelchair or leaning on a cane, because of diabetes, circulation ailments and the effects of a stroke. He may not live long enough to “graduate” from treatment.
As the Times notes, very few will. This is a six page article that examines the flaws and mistaken assumptions in these laws.
Prosecutorial indiscretion is but one aspect:
...some prosecutors seek commitment for others convicted of noncontact crimes like public exposure. In Florida, prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to civilly commit a man who was imprisoned for driving drunk even though his last sex arrest was decades earlier.
There's lots more, go read the whole thing. As far as I'm concerned, to tout Eliot Spitzer's new law is like buying a pig in a poke.
|< Judge Orders U.S. Attorney to Turn Over Memos on Pot Advocate | Malkin Wins CPAC Accuracy Award . . . Coulter Wins Civility Nod >|