Washington's New Sexual Offender Civil Commitment System: An Unconstitutional Commitment System and Unwise Policy Choice
This Comment will discuss the portion of the legislation that established the system of involuntary civil commitment of violent sexual predators [hereinafter Violent Sexual Predator Commitment System]. This Comment will explore whether the Violent Sexual Predator Commitment System could withstand procedural and substantive due process challenges. Additionally, because the system is premised on a mental disorder of the sexually violent person, the commitment scheme will also be compared with the Involuntary Treatment Act's civil commitment system, to determine whether the Violent Sexual Predator Commitment System violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. After determining that the Violent Sexual Predator Commitment System would not survive constitutional attack and that it is inconsistent with the purposes of the criminal law, this Comment concludes that the new Violent Sexual Predator Commitment System should not have been enacted. Rather, sexual offenders should be dealt with through the existing criminal justice system.
Brian G. Bodine, Washington's New Sexual Offender Civil Commitment System: An Unconstitutional Commitment System and Unwise Policy Choice, 14 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 105 (1990).
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