Only Yesterday: The Rise and Fall of Twentieth Century Sexual Psychopath Laws
69 La. L. Rev. 549 2008-2009
45 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 9, 2012
Sexually violent predator laws are not the first wave of American legislation aimed at committing sex offenders to locked mental hospitals; they are the second. Preceding them by half a century were the sexual psychopath laws, which differed in significant detail but provided the same basic framework of indeterminacy and dangerousness. This article looks at the history of the sexual psychopath laws. It begins by critically examining the popular belief that there was a sex crime wave. It then discussed different solutions proffered to solve the sex crime problem. Finally, it provides an overview of the sexual psychopath laws and discusses the reasons for their demise.
Keywords: Sexual psychopath, sex crime wave, Uniform Crime Reports
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