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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Kansas v. Hendricks
Citation:521 U.S. 346 (1997)
The Kansas Legislature enacted the Sexually Violent Predator Act in 1994 to grapple with the problem of managing repeat sexual offenders. As originally structured, the Act’s civil commitment procedures pertained to a presently confined person who, like Hendricks, has been convicted of a sexually violent offense and is scheduled for release; a person who has been charged with a sexually violent offense but has been found incompetent to stand trial. In 1984, Hendricks was convicted of taking indecent liberties with two 13-year-old boys. After serving nearly 10 years of his sentence, he was slated for release to a halfway house. Shortly before his release, however, the State filed a petition in state court seeking Hendricks’ civil confinement as a sexually violent predator. Hendricks appeared before the court and moved to dismiss the State’s petition on the grounds that the Act violated various federal constitutional provisions.
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