Essay Title: 

Does confining sex offenders indefinetly in mental hospitals after they have served their prison sentences violate the constitution?

March 18, 2016 | Author: | Posted in criminology, law

The decision of government to confine sex offenders in mental hospitals after they have served their prison term can is rooted in the tendency of government to minimize the risk associated with the possibility of re-offence . By doing so , government deprives sexual offenders of one of the most valuable assets – liberty , while , at the same time , at the expense of individual liberties it minimizes the cost to society Ultimately , there is nothing wrong with risk minimization against individual ‘s right to liberty that is based on a prediction of future dangerousness . The [banner_entry_middle]

question that rises is how far can government go with deprivation of liberty of sexual offenders ? And another one that is even more important : does a confining sexual offender indefinitely in mental hospitals after they have served their prison term violate their constitutional right to due process alongside with the Fifth Amendment the right of everybody for individual autonomy , liberty , and privacy (Kaden , J . 1998 . Even though the number of offenders who fall under the respective category and become a subject to sanctions is very small , the issue is of prime concern : the debate is ongoing and both sides have serious arguments to support own positions

The issue itself resulted from the Supreme Court decision in Hendricks v . Kansas . The court decision to uphold involuntarily the offender in a mental hospital is based on a judge ‘s or jury ‘s prediction of offender ‘s future dangerousness . Going even further then this , since the court characterized the sanction as civil , double jeopardy does not apply (Demleitner , N . 2003 . Eight other states have the same laws and the other two have pre-d bills to support the law (Gordon , D . 1998 . The major argument of those supporting the court decision is that holding involuntarily a sex offender in the hospital does not account for liberty deprivation and , therefore , does not violate the due process law . At the same time , such sanctions allow to ensure safety of society as the risk of re-offense of sex offenders is very high . The clashing point between those who support the law and those who about it is whether confining in a mental hospital involves deprivation of freedom and , thus , can be equated to imprisonment . If one chooses to view life in a mental hospital as an imprisonment , then the law violates the Constitution as the concept of double jeopardy comes into play . The other clash is the way to determine and predict with certain degree of certainty the possibility of re-offense . Thus , supporters of the law choose to ignore this issue and do not consider the possibility of a mistake when deciding on the diagnosis (Morse , S . 2004 . The third clash is whether sex offenders should be treated differently then other criminals . In many cases there is high degree of re-offense among other less violent criminals , however , they cannot be deterred any longer despite the fact the certainty that they will commit crimes as soon as they are let out of prison . Now , let us… [banner_entry_footer]

Comments Off on Does confining sex offenders indefinetly in mental hospitals after they have served their prison sentences violate the constitution?

Author:

This author has published 9190 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

Comments are closed.