Those very variables that make SVPA
litigation different--the need
Although the SVPA deals in civil remedies, because the issue arises under confinement, the courts add elements of criminality, including "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that the person falls under the SVPA.
(13) However, a psychologist's diagnosis of a "mental disorder" under the DSM fails to differentiate general mental illnesses from "mental disorders" sufficient to satisfy the second element of the SVPA. To prevent the very confusion problematic for judge and juries, this Comment uses the term "mental illness" to indicate various diagnosed disorders listed in the DSM based on a psychologist's professional evaluation.
, not a clue as to how they are supposed to charge the
In January 2002, Doe was transferred from a hospital to the county jail for a determination of his mental health under the SVPA
. Both the hospital and jail officials acted properly during the transfer.
SVPA targets a type of mad criminal similar to the sex fiend of the
As a result, the SVPA allows the state to detain some mad criminals
(15) Judge Allegrucci, writing for the court, asserted that confinement under the SVPA is unconstitutional absent a finding that the defendant cannot control his dangerous behavior.
Writing in dissent, Justice Scalia argued that the majority misinterpreted the precedent set by Hendricks and the very language of the SVPA. (31) He asserted that Hendricks unequivocally states that "the SVPA's required finding of a causal connection between the likelihood of repeat acts of sexual violence and the existence of a 'mental abnormality' or a 'personality disorder' necessarily establishes 'difficulty if not impossibility' in controlling behavior." (32) Therefore, according to Justice Scalia, no requirement of a separate finding of inability to control behavior is necessary, as the majority indicated.
The Supreme Court rejected these arguments, holding that the SVPA
was not punitive because it did not further the goals of retribution or deterrence.
Qualifying "Sexually Violent Offense." In one ruling, the court held that under the SVPA
an inmate could be subjected to civil commitment upon release from prison only if the offense for which the inmate is currently serving time is a qualifying "sexually violent offense."