Sexual Predator Laws: A Two-Decade Retrospective

9 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2009

See all articles by Eric S. Janus

Eric S. Janus

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Robert A. Prentky

Justice Resource Institute - Research Department

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

The year 2009 approaches the twentieth anniversary of the birth of sexual predator legislation, a family of laws aimed at controlling sexual violence through "regulatory" schemes of prevention - schemes that claim exemption from the constraints surrounding the normal "charge and conviction" paradigm of the criminal justice system. This same two-decade time span has witnessed the most energetic, sweeping legislative agenda on sexual offenders in memory.

This brief Article identifies the broad arc of these developments, tracing key legal issues, as well as the ways in which the existence of this new legal approach has shaped both other areas of the law and the behavioral sciences.

Keywords: SVP, sexually violent predator, as-applied invalidation, abstention doctrine, fact-deference doctrine, constitutional law, substantive due process, sex crimes, habeas corpus, right to treatment

Suggested Citation

Janus, Eric S. and Prentky, Robert A., Sexual Predator Laws: A Two-Decade Retrospective (December 2008). Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2008; William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 115. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1375043

Eric S. Janus (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN Minnesota 55105-3076
United States
6126954928 (Phone)
6126954928 (Fax)

Robert A. Prentky

Justice Resource Institute - Research Department ( email )

545 Boylston Street, Suite 700
Boston, MA 02116-3606
United States

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