Kansas v. Hendricks
United States Supreme Court
521 U.S. 346 (1997)
Hendricks (defendant), a prisoner with a record of criminal convictions for child sexual molestation, was brought to trial by the State of Kansas (plaintiff) under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (Act). The Act provided for the civil commitment of individuals who were likely to engage in “predatory acts of sexual violence” caused by a “mental abnormality.” The trial court ordered Hendricks committed on the ground that his admitted incurable pedophilia constituted “mental abnormality.” Hendricks appealed on the grounds that the Act violated both the Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court of Kansas struck down the Act as a violation of substantive due process and reversed the trial court. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
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