Civil Commitment Program

Posted by on May 17, 2010 in Government Lawsuits, Government Legal Issues | 0 comments

Civil Commitment Program: U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Dangerous Sex Offenders

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sex offenders can be detained indefinitely after their sentence if considered sexually dangerous.

Should Sexually Dangerous Inmates
Be Released from Prison If They
Still Pose A Threat?

Does Congress Have the Right to Detain "Sexually Dangerous" Inmates?

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Adam Walsh: Kidnap and Murder Victim

Adam Walsh Kidnapped and Murdered (1981)

In a seven-to-two vote the U.S. Supreme Court rules the federal government has the right to prevent some sex offenders from being released from prison, even after their sentences have been served.

The “civil commitment” program is available for lawmakers to prevent the release of inmates who may prove to be sexually dangerous, thereby allowing for the indefinite confinement of the offender. Under the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act a provision exists that allows for the civil commitment.

Adam Walsh is the son of John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted”. Adam was kidnapped and murdered in 1981 by who police believe Ottis Toole, a convicted child molester, was guilty of.

Currently there are over 80 inmates accused of various sexual crimes, including child pornography, sexual abuse of a minor, and child sex abuse, who are being held at Butner Federal Correctional Complex just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, and were each due to be released at least two years, or longer, ago.

John Walsh: TV Host of America's Most Wanted

John Walsh, Host of TV's 'America's Most Wanted'

One of these inmates is Graydon Comstock, a federal prisoner sentenced to only 37 months for processing child pornography. Six days prior to Comstock’s release date he was deemed sexually dangerous.

Comstock, along with three of the other inmates, filed suit arguing that Congress overstepped its power and that their continued imprisonment is a violation of their constitutional right of due process.

“The federal government, as custodian of its prisoners, has the constitutional power to act in order to protect nearby communities from the danger such prisoners may pose,” stated Justice Stephen Breyer. “The statute is a necessary and proper means of exercising the federal authority that permits Congress to create federal criminal laws, to punish their violation, to imprison violators, to provide appropriately for those imprisoned, and to maintain the security of those who are not imprisoned but who may be affected by the federal imprisonment of others.”

Related Information
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  Supreme Court: Sex Offenders Can Be Held Indefinitely
  Federal Prisoners Kept Beyond Their Sentences
  Predators and the Constitution
  Supreme Court: ‘Sexually Dangerous’ Inmates Can Be Held Indefinitely
  Civil Commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons: Statutory Interpretation of State’s SDP Law

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