Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Supreme Court says that federal prison system can hold dangerous people after sentence is completed

I’ve put some of the materials about “disturbing behavior” on this blog (sometimes to isolate it). Fred Barnes has a major story on p A6 of The Washington Post to the effect that the government can detail certain s.o.’s even after their prison terms have been completed, with link here.

“"The federal government is the custodian of its prisoners," Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the majority. "As federal custodian, it has the constitutional power to act in order to protect nearby (and other) communities from the danger federal prisoners may pose”.

Breyer found justification for the government’s powers with indirect arguments, and confounded libertarian notions that the federal government should stay within powers explicitly stated in the Constitution.

The case is “United States v. Comstock” and the text of the Opinion is on this PDF here.

Of course, many people see this as a "double jeopardy" issue, of punishing a person more than once for the same offense.

Note: The URL for the Supreme Court has changed, and the “us” at the end of the domain name was removed. Other links to opinions on these blogs may take you to the new home page for the Supreme Court. In time, I’ll try to find them and supply updated URL’s. But the new site is pretty easy to navigate.

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