A dozen convicted sex offenders have been freed to hit the streets of New York as early as next week, reports the New York Daily News. The men hd been sent to mental hospitals by Gov. George Pataki, even though they had finished serving their prison sentences. State Judge Jacqueline Silbermann ruled yesterday that Pataki broke the law, reasoning that although the perverts may be menaces to society, it doesn’t necessarily make them crazy. “Even persons acquitted of violent crimes by reason of insanity may not be civilly committed to a mental hospital solely because they pose a danger to society,” said the judge.
The convicts could be released from city mental hospitals after five days – unless two court-appointed psychiatrists determine they are mentally ill or pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Pataki complained that the ruling “creates special, new judge-made rights and protections for rapists, predators and pedophiles who are about to be released from prison into our communities.” Pataki has been trying to get legislation passed that would incarcerate sex offenders indefinitely, but the legislature refused to go along with him. Civil rights advocates had blasted the governor for incarcerating the men after they had done their time. Yesterday, they lauded the judge’s decision.