CA Court Questions Legality Of Indefinite Sex Offender Terms


The California Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 2 that a 2006 ballot initiative that permitted the state to lock up sexually violent predators indefinitely may violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection, reports the Los Angeles Times. The ruling did not strike down the measure, Proposition 83, also known as “Jessica’s Law.”

Instead, the court said a fact-finding hearing must be held to determine whether valid reasons exist for treating sex predators differently from others subject to civil confinement, such as mentally disordered offenders. Proposition 83 increased penalties for repeat sex offenders, prohibited them from living near schools and parks, and changed the law to permit their indefinite confinement to mental institutions, instead of two years with the possibility of extensions.

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