This Article will address four major substantive constitutional and moral challenges to the Washington Sexually Violent Predator statute. The first is that the statute provides for unacceptable preventive detention contrary to American tradition and law. The second is that the terminology used to identify the mental condition of sexually violent predators is vague and meaningless, resulting in inaccurate and unfair applications and lacking in uniformity. The third objection is that the treatment program necessarily relies on a false assumption that efficacious treatment is available and argues that without efficacious treatment the statute must fail. Fourth, the confinement involved, which theoretically could last a lifetime, is based on predictions of future dangerousness that are highly inaccurate, resulting in the inappropriate and unjust confinement of many nondangerous persons. This last criticism in particular is subjected to a careful analysis in Sections IV and V of this Article, in which much new data and an entirely new analysis of that data are presented.
Alexander D. Brooks, The Constitutionality and Morality of Civilly Committing Violent Sexual Predators, 15 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 709 (1992).