What is with the Supreme Court lately?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by quagmire, May 17, 2010.

  1. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #1
    Now they rule that keeping sex offenders in jail past their original sentence is ok. I don't like sex offenders as the next guy, but this is just ridiculous.

    WTF
     
  2. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #2
    Yeah, I read this and went, I agree with both Scalia and Thomas?


    This ruling scares me, because who knows what later be acceptable to hold people for.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #3
    That is scary

    Once you serve your time, you should be free to go.

    Otherwise what is the point of sentencing if it is not going to be upheld?
     
  4. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    #4
    I just read the link, but haven't read beyond that. There is something very, very strange about this. I can't fathom it is as simple as the CNN article suggests. That doesn't make sense.
     
  5. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #5
    Once people who have murdered have served their sentences and not had bad behavior in jail they are released. Habitually drunk drivers are released (albeit without their licenses) once they have served their time.

    One can argue that sexual predators are wired wrong and cannot be rehabilitated. However, the way to address this is to change sentencing lengths, or have them classified as mentally impaired (and release set by a physician who deems them no longer dangerous).

    The indefinite incarceration in the setting of finite sentencing lengths is a slippery slope.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Exactly....

    Interestingly, the SC also acted today to bar life terms for juvenile non-homicide offenders. Thomas also dissented on that one, making essentially the same argument that the Court did not have the power to engage in this kind of lawmaking.

    (FWIW here also is the NYT's AP coverage of the sex offender story)
     
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    Agreed, this is a bad decision by the Supreme Court.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    Very bad, indeed. I'm really surprised by this.
     
  9. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #10
    and I agree with Thomas again, because homicide isn't the only crime for which should be locked up forever, there were numerous cited cases where very violent criminals will now have the opportunity for parole because their victim didn't die, whether meant to kill them or not.

    Hell, we will no longer be able to lock them up and throw away the key. How does a civilized society live with monsters possibly in every dark alley?
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    I don't know that I agree with all that... violent crime has been decreasing steadily in most of the US for a few decades now. But the SC ruling does appear arbitrary to me -- I don't clearly understand why the Constitution specifically prevents youth from being given life sentences without parole for non-homicidal crimes, since it really doesn't address any aspect of that question. At that level, I do at least share Thomas's concern that the Court is acting outside the bounds of its authority.

    I do find the statistic in that article worrisome -- that 70% of non-homicide life sentence youth are in Florida. I've lived in Florida, and I see no evidence that the crime demographics of the state are so vastly different from the rest of the country that there should be such disproportionate punishment there, let alone the general arguments that there is little or no evidence that harsher penalties in key states such as Florida and Texas actually work to control the crime rate.
     
  11. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    To those who know me, this may seem strange, but I agree with the SC on this one.

    The detentions they ruled on are not criminal in nature. The detentions are "sexually dangerous" detentions, they are civil in nature, and have a very different set of rules.

    People who are detained have counsel appointed, they have the right to petition for release at any time, and they have annual reviews of their detention status.

    This civil detention is similar in nature to a civil detention for the insane.

    FYI
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Except that it isn't. The ability to civilly commit or detain an individual who is incapable of being a safe member of society is a longstanding idea. If that's all that one wanted to do with sexual predators, one could already have done it. This is a new layer of commitment post incarceration. The criminal justice system has always been designed to take the risk of recidivism into account. There's no clear guideline that explains why sexual predators (least of all in the Constitution) as a category have a special status that makes them appropriate for this kind of detention, as opposed to any other group of criminals who have a risk of recidivism.
     
  13. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #14
    Except that it is.
    As is the idea of civilly committing people who are found to be sexually dangerous. This is not a new idea, this is merely the Court saying the old idea does not violate federal law or the Constitution.
    Again, not new, old. This is a civil detention, different from, and with different rules, than criminal conviction. You don't need a criminal conviction, but it helps.
    Again, it is a civil commitment, and they can get out.

    BTW, they have ways of testing what turns you on. I never, ever want to be hooked up.

    (edit) For reference, here is the law I dealt with. http://law.justia.com/illinois/codes/chapter54/61477.html
     

Share This Page