Supreme Court Delays Release of Sex Offenders

April 5, 2009 : Obama Delays Release of Sex Offenders.

Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday granted a request of U.S. President Barack Obama to block the release of up to 77 sex offenders; some of the 77 offenders in question were set to be released as early as next week without this intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court. The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, previously invalidated a law allowing indefinite incarceration of perceived “sexually dangerous” inmates.

When Congress enacted a law permitting the indefinite commitment of sex offenders, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals claimed that the decision was beyond the bounds of Congressional powers. The appeal was brought forth by several convicted sex offenders: four men serving terms of three to eight years for a variety of charges, such as possession of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor. Though the four men were due to be released over two years ago, their incarceration was extended due to a perceived risk of repeat offending.

Keeping an inmate in prison one year past his parole date costs about $30,000, versus $800 for a year of parole.

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