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NCJ Number: 136970 Find in a Library
Title: Washington State's Sexually Violent Predators Act: Model or Mistake?
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:29  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1991)  Pages:107-132
Author(s): L T Greenlees
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 26
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This legal note analyzes Washington State's Sexually Violent Predators Act and discusses the constitutional issues and concerns inherent in a statute that deals not only with civil commitment, but also with commitment implemented as a postsentencing remedy.
Abstract: In 1989, a young boy from Tacoma, Washington was abducted, raped, choked, and stabbed. This case and several other related incidents led to approval of the Sexually Violent Predators Act. The act provides for postsentence, indefinite civil commitment for sexually violent predators; those convicted of or charged with a crime of sexual violence and suffering from a mental abnormality or personality disorder. The act contrasts with sexual offender statutes in other States that provide for commitment in lieu of sentencing. The author contends that the act is too vague, that it is an impermissible violation of due process guarantees, and that it does not afford equal protection to all individuals who are situated equally. Individuals will be committed under a minimalist requirement, yet this low threshold will work against them when they seek release. Professionals will be reluctant to deem individuals safe to be at large, and repeat sex offenders will remain locked up with little hope for treatment, rehabilitation, and subsequent release. 165 footnotes
Main Term(s): Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Equal Protection; Right to Due Process; State laws; Washington
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