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Landmark Cases


Date, Location, Cite: (1997)

117 S.Ct 2072
US Supreme Court

Leroy Hendricks is a pedophile who served his 30 year sentence and was then civilly committed to a mental hospital based on dangerousness and mental illness criteria, but the MI criteria were defined by the legislature as a 'sexual predator, a mental abnormality.' Lots of APA et al. opposition to MI definition outside what psychiatry recognizes; see this as a way to use psychiatry for social control rather than rx of illness. (That is MY position- JFH)

Other side is that we commit dangerous that we can't treat all the time, and the protection of society is important.

Is this ex post-facto? (A change in punishment after conviction?)

US Supreme Court said: "mental abnormality" satisfies "substantive" due process requirements, it does not violate ex post-facto lawmaking, and is for neither retribution or deterrence. Court feels that he is in hospital for treatment, not further punishment. Note that 3 justices disagreed, and a 4th joined in part.

See YOUNG v. WESTON, Allen v. IL
    See R. Slovenko, Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability 57 (1995) (citing testimony that paraphilias are not mental illnesses) & Abel & Rouleau, Male Sex Offenders, in Handbook of Outpatient Treatment of Adults 271 (M. Thase, B. Edelstein, & M. Hersen eds. 1990) Said Allen v IL had promised treatment, and Kansas did not.