Pin It
Favorite

Tighten the Law? 

click to enlarge art19429.jpg

A 2011 bill sponsored by state Sens. Debbie Regala and Jim Hargrove would have amended the state’s sexually violent predator law, in part by compelling committed offenders to participate in in-person interviews with an evaluator during their annual review.

The idea, explains David Hackett, the King County prosecutor who helped draft the amended language, was to encourage offenders at McNeil Island to undergo treatment. Currently, according to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, just 37 percent of the resident population does. Lawmakers argued the annual review system created one major unintended consequence of indefinite civil commitment; namely, offenders could zip their lips, refuse treatment and effectively age out of confinement through continuous litigation.

“Basically, you didn’t do anything and your attorney would claim in court all the information about you was old and outdated,” Hackett says. “That’s a pretty common strategy [among defense attorneys].”

But the bill went one step further: It placed the burden of proof on the offender, rather than the state, to “prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the person’s condition has so changed” that he no longer meets the definition of a sexually violent predator.

SB 5202 “was pretty much dead on arrival,” says Brooke Burbank, an assistant attorney general. The bill passed the Senate unanimously, and made it through the House, but in a drastically altered form. Eventually it went nowhere. “The defense bar has a very strong lobby and they did not like [it],” says Burbank.

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest
  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest

    No, it's not as bad as in California, but drought is taking a hefty toll
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Call Mr. Yuk
  • Call Mr. Yuk

    Gov. Inslee avoids the "poison pill"; plus, pushing back against empty Kickstarter promises
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Deanna Pan

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


Publisher's Note


Community


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation