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“Basically, you didn’t do anything and your attorney would claim in court all the information about you was old and outdated,” Hackett says.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

  • An Eye for Every Storm
  • An Eye for Every Storm

    After losing out to Idaho Falls, Coeur d'Alene gets its crisis center; now the city has to prove it works
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • 'Evil Intent'
  • 'Evil Intent'

    Monique Cotton resigns from Spokane's parks division; plus, Washington state lawmakers take up the issue of police violence
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • The Macy's Plan
  • The Macy's Plan

    Council President Ben Stuckart doesn't just want to sit back and let the market decide what happens to the Macy's building
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Monster Jam

Monster Jam @ Spokane Arena

Feb. 5-7

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Deanna Pan

Most Commented On

  • Sacred Mt. Spokane

    Economic possibility is not a good enough reason to destroy the Spokane Tribe's holy land
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • White Men With Guns

    The illegal occupation in eastern Oregon is the epitome of white privilege
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

ELECTION 2016


Comment


Briefs


Marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Homeless Rising
  • Homeless Rising

    A grim economy means 'a whole new world' on the streets.
    • Nov 17, 2010
  • The <i>Real</i> Rachel Dolezal
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation