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SCOTUS: Sex offenders can be held indefinitely

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, May 17, 2010.

  1. WOW ...
    I understand the danger, but I don't agree with the ruling. You can NOT hold someone longer than they are sentenced. Guess the SCOTUS think otherwise.

  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    7-2 with Breyer writing the opinion.

    That's a blowout.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    They also banned life sentences without parole for teens who did not commit murder.

    A 5-4 decision with Kennedy as the swing vote and the rest of the Court breaking down along traditional lines.

  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Sounds like a great ruling.
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    I note no kicking and screaming about "activist judges." Interesting.
  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    So this ruling essentially gives the federal government the power to detain anyone it wants, for as long as it wants, with no right of appeal, no due process and no indication of what that person must do in order to get out, and you think it's a great ruling?

    Which version of the Constitution do you have?

    You cannot take away rights, even from people who don't "deserve" them. That's what makes them rights.
  7. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    If the powers that be felt that it was best to sentence sex offenders to life without parole up front, I'd be OK with it.
    I also understand that the prevailing belief is that these people are more likely to reoffend that any other kind of criminals, though I'm not sure if the research backs up that claim.
    As I've said many times before, if what these people did was so despicable that they never deserve a fair chance to prove they can live as law-abiding citizens, don't let them out, but that's the sentence that should be given to them up front.
    Otherwise, once their debt is paid, they deserve the same chance any other criminal has.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?

    Under British law, how long can you hold a terror suspect without charging him?
  9. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    42 days. Not sure I'd call that a log, but it's not something about which a lot of people are particularly happy.

    The use, however, of whole-life tariffs -- life without parole -- is exceptionally rare.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Might not be a log, but I didn't want to alter the quote.

    But you see my point.
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but what if they've, "paid their debt" but they're still seen as a threat?

    It's one thing if professionals consider the person rehabilitated -- though I'm skeptical that the most serious offenders can ever really be rehabilitated -- but someone who is still driven to commit these crimes?

    There's got to be some way to keep them off the streets.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with you, as a matter of principle. But the big problem with the law (the Adam Walsh law) from a "before the Supreme Court" standpoint, is that it gives Congress powers that are not given to Congress in the Constitution. And that is so dangerous.

    It was one of those populist laws that went through no problems because it's easy to make sex offenders into an angry cause to keep people distracted. Politicians love that shit. They make it seem like they are doing something and it doesn't really piss anyone off. But what is particularly stupid about the law was that most (all?) states already have laws that allow civil commitments (for a variety of reasons), so this was just populism, not EVEN aimed at a widespread problem of some sort.

    This ruling is what happens when you have the Supreme Court making laws, not just making sure that the legislature doesn't trample on the Constitution. It's a bridge we crossed a long time ago, though. There is no way a case like this should ever have passed muster -- it wouldn't have, even 40 years ago or anytime before that. But in some ways, we might as well not have a Constitution anymore, because we don't really have independent courts to uphold it. They are politicized institutions that threw the actual Constitution aside years ago and instead now exist to enact the broad social and political agendas of the judges. This was the latest example.
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