Editorials

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 25, 1997 | Go to article overview

Editorials


Pedophile ruling draws fine line

When a convicted pedophile says he's almost certain to assault children again if given the chance, then there's a pretty strong incentive to keep the man away from kids.

But how can authorities confine someone - even someone who knows and admits his own proclivities - once he's served his prison term? After all, a constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy is a key underpinning of the justice system.

Kansas and five other states have laws that let officials keep a child sex offender in a mental hospital after his prison release if he has a "mental abnormality" and is likely to engage in "predatory acts of sexual violence" if freed. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Kansas law. That paves the way for Illinois and other states to go ahead with similar laws.

The Kansas law was challenged by Leroy Hendricks, who has a long record of molesting children. Hendricks said he would strike again if released but nonetheless challenged the law on the grounds that his hospitalization amounted to a second punishment for one crime.

If, in fact, that's what hospitalization is, then we would agree that such confinement tramples constitutional rights. But the court majority is satisfied that the Kansas law is written in such a way that it applies only to inmates who truly are mentally ill, who still suffer from a disorder that compels them to molest children.

In addition, Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, makes the persuasive point that it is neither unusual nor unconstitutional for mentally ill persons, in the absence of any crime, to be confined to a hospital if they're deemed a danger to themselves or to others. That helps put the Kansas law in perspective and make it more palatable for those who highly value civil liberties.

Still, it's important, in cases like Hendricks', that the inmate-turned-patient receive treatment for the disorder and that his case be reviewed frequently to determine whether he's fit to be released.

Nobody wants to see a human time bomb put out on the street, one whose detonation would mean serious harm to innocent children. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Editorials
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.