Sex Offenders Can be Held “Indefinitely”, Supreme Court Says
May 17, 2010
The ruling comes after a lawsuit over “civil commitment”, where several sex offenders with child-related crimes claimed they were denied their release at the end, or near the end, of their sentences.
The main offender at the heart of the lawsuit was Graydon Comstock, who was denied release six days before the end of his 37-month sentence for processing child pornography.
The law allowing this to happen is the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named after the son of John Walsh. Adam was kidnapped from a shopping center at the age of six by serial killer Otis Toole.
The provision in the act was established in 2006 that allows authorities to deny the release of high-risk offenders.
“The federal government, as custodian of its prisoners, has the constitutional power to act in order to protect nearby (and other) communities from the danger such prisoners may pose,” Justice Stephen Breyer said of the ruling.
The decision passed with a 7-2 majority.