Jan 142010
 
 January 14, 2010  Court

Nick Wilson reports:

Lawyers argued before the Supreme Court Tuesday over whether the government can detain those judged sexually dangerous for indefinite periods beyond their prison terms, often applying the dangerous label in last-minute moves to delay release. “Under the theory that you are proposing, any dangerous person could be held indefinitely,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the government lawyer.

“What you’re saying is that the federal government, merely because of their time in control of the individual, has an unlimited constitutional power to then civilly commit this dangerous person,” she added.

Five sexually dangerous prisoners sued the government, four of who were kept more than two years after their sentences expired and were labeled as sexually dangerous less than one month before their scheduled releases. One was declared sexually dangerous the day he completed his 96- month sentence.

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