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MN: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Minnesota Sex Offender Case

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that it won’t hear a challenge to Minnesota’s sex offender civil commitment system (Karsjens v Piper), which allows people who have been deemed sexually dangerous to be committed to a treatment facility for an indefinite period of time. Full Article

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This is horrible, absolutely horrible. So now we have the criminal justice system, and then after that the civil injustice system. The State’s power has just grown by leaps and bounds in a very dangerous direction. Their declining this case really, really troubles me. Snyder being denied pales in comparison to this.

Hopefully some of these men (or the sole woman) pursue “as applied” challenges and can get themselves released.

This would appear to strengthen Missouri’s system also if I recall correctly too…

AJ, those men and women are confined within walls. They are not free to move and interact with the public. It will be tough (I see a bit of impossible) to file an “as applied” challenges. I agree this is a HORRIBLE denial of justice, especially after reading the lesser type of “standard” being applied to the lost of liberty as applied to registrants. I hope this denial of cert does not give green light to other states (especially in the bible states) to follow suit and / or copy to Minnesota’s “treatment” program. There was once an idea presented… Read more »

Exactly my fears: expansion in any and every direction. The laws move much faster than the courts, too, so even though something could eventually be found unconstitutional, it’s years after it’s been heaped on someone.

I’m disappointed SCOTUS denied Snyder, but am disgusted they didn’t accept Karsjens…and it will only get worse with a shift to the right when the three elder Justices are gone.

This is even more worrying considering how some states are expending whom they can label SVP in order to place people on civil commitment. If anyone wanted a prime example of a loophole, this would be it. “Well why don’t you just pass a sentence for a longer period of time?” “We can’t because the codes don’t allow it. And then they’d still have an exit time. We want a way to keep someone forever without actually applying criminal law to it.” I think an even bigger issue than civil commitment, is that SVP can be applied in cases that… Read more »

I can’t say that I disagree with civil commitment 100% but any criminal regime that wants to use it should have to prove beyond any CONCEIVABLE doubt that it is required for someone. Just for one example – there is no way it could be justified for people who have done nothing beyond looking at child porn. And personally, I think the fact that the SEX Offender Registries (SORs) and civil commitment are applied to crimes that did not involve SEX is a great thing. If we are going to have BS Registries in the U.S. then we need to… Read more »

I usually agree wholeheartedly with your comments (and I love the name you use and agree completely with that sentiment), but I disagree slightly on your first statement in regards to civil commitment. I think it is never okay to continue to detain someone after serving his duly-imposed sentence- it is basically saying “we have decided to continue imprisoning you for a crime you might commit in the future. We won’t call it imprisonment though, since that would be unconstitutional, but you still can’t leave until we decide you can.” Holding someone for a crime he MIGHT commit in the… Read more »

I would go further and say that men are being imprisoned for crimes which they MIGHT commit in the future by people who ARE committing crimes today.

Well, I am sure that civil commitment is 100% unconstitutional and this organization’s position should be that it must be eliminated entirely. In this we must be absolutely unequivocal.

@David Kennerly: Though I, and I’m sure many on here, agree with you, sadly the old folks in the black robes think it’s perfectly fine. The use of “civil” in the courts has gotten us so far off track. Couldn’t get a conviction in criminal court with reasonable doubt? File a civil case, and win on preponderance of the evidence. Want to prevent speeders, but having cops do it is too cumbersome? Change it to a civil code violation by the vehicle. Think someone is up to something shady, but can’t (or don’t want to) prove it? Civil asset forfeiture… Read more »

Maybe time for them to file a slew of Writ of Habeas Corpus

I was going to echo this sentiment. I wasnt surprised when scotus didnt take snyder, I was shocked when they didnt take the minnesota case. This truly is a dark day and you are absolutely right, the states just gained enormous power over rc’s. Maybe they will try and apply this retroactively down the road. I guess the precedent the court is trying to set is something to the effect of the registry is punishment, but only if you are able to dodge being civilly commited. Shame on scoutus!

What will this mean to lawmakers……..

Will they try to push for “civil commitment” now when a registered citizen fails to register????? Or is too close to school property??????

Is this the thinking of the High Court?

I think people are reading into this wrong….Or maybe I am.. Although freedom from physical restraint invokes a fundamental right, those fundamental rights are not absolute. That is the actual question that was being asked and argued. Even though it is completely screwed up, and we all know it, there is absolutely no procedural due process claim or facial claim, and they explained all the reasons why there wasn’t. And it just doesn’t reach the high standard the court has set for a substantive due process claim. First off, the only actual fundamental right that they were arguing is the… Read more »

@mike r: Nice job digging into the MN case and laying it out. Yeah, perhaps they did attack it from the wrong perspective. They will need to regroup and figure out how to attack the “we have people we know don’t belong in here, but we’re not doing anything about it” attitude from MN. —– As to Snyder, yes it’s a victory for us. I guess I look at it this way: SCOTUS affirming Snyder would have been a power tool; SCOTUS denying Snyder is a hand tool. Either way, the job can get done, but a power tool is… Read more »

This is exactly what we have all been waiting to hear from Scotus. “Punishment”!!!! This is a huge win for us, and a start to the downfall of the registry as it is unless they give each and every one of us hearings to determine if we pose a significant danger to re-offend………I also believe that we have a right to a jury trial since it is a punishment for a crime, prove that I committed the crime for which I am being punished, i.e. my propensity for re-offense..

Also preserving my right to appeal, present mitigating evidence during sentencing, right to an attorney, and so on…..

Also if they try to subvert my attempt for a fair and just judicial process by using intimidation, procedural errors that I may make, or for any other number of other reasons, and as long as I am proceeding in good faith, then I’ll have an actual procedural due process claim….

This isn’t really surprising is it? Ladies and gentlemen what we have here is a failure to communicate. There must be a painful cost for NOT changing current law and practices against registered citizens before such change is going to happen. What that looks like is hard to see. Perhaps a holistic approach going after those preaching behind the pulpit and holding them accountable for their beliefs. Educating those in Law schools, those studying psychology and at religious seminaries. What would it take to get people to talk about such change in salons, barbershops and even behind the pulpit at… Read more »

Love your work and passion. I had a few comments about your comment: I don’t think most people could ever be convinced that they (or someone they love) might end up being listed on the SEX Offender Registries (SORs). I just don’t think most people can get that into their minds. So I personally don’t think that is a very effective strategy. The strategy that I prefer is that “the SORs are BS”. And if they are not, it doesn’t make any sense to anyone that we don’t have 100+ other national, public, lifetime Registries. I mean, how it is… Read more »

The Cowards punted that’s all! Land of the free home of the brave!

SORS are for the afraid..

The real answers is opt for jury trial in registration cases in mass! I’m 1-1 so far. BTW, I know why I opted for trial.

Shi….20 million…more like 1/4 of the country would be on a list…nationally 1 /3 of americans have a criminal record….

Register everyone or no one…..Thats 1/3 of all working adults..That’s 1/3 out of at least 200 million people….do the math…

Registering 60+ million works for me. If people have a “right” to know about people who have committed SEX crimes then MFer, I have the right to know about anyone who has committed any serious crime. F all people who support the SEX Offender Registries (SORs). I view them as complete un-Americans and enemies to me. I’ve read quite a lot about the Nazis and other people who forcefully entered people’s lives and really harmed them in various ways. I see people who support the SORs in the same way. The scale of their crimes is not as grave obviously… Read more »

jury trials are risky. I wasn’t taking a deal even though I could of had 8 months alternative sentence, i.e. work project, and one charge of 664/288(a), instead went to trial, got railroaded with an incompetent public pretender and a judge who had a selective intro of evidence, got convicted for the attempted 288, but they added 288.2 and 647. Well I git sentenced to the maximum the law would allow, 5 years 4 months in state penitentiary. Do I regret going to trial you may ask? Hell no, what I do regret is not demanding I represent myself and… Read more »

Could you imagine…60-70 million on some kind of registry?????I have t make sure I bring that up during my hearing, and have some evidence to back up that claim, although it could be considered common knowledge that there are 1/3 working adults with a criminal record….Hmmm, interesting, I will have to think about this a little more, I am sure these stats are usable some how……

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