We don\’t extradite to places without fair trials

Seems like a fair enough law.

Shawn Sullivan faced spending the rest of his life behind bars under a controversial sex offenders’ programme in the US, but two senior judges said this would amount to a “flagrant denial” of his rights.

If convicted, he\’d serve his sentence, then be put into a sex offenders institution.

“Civil commitment is not a penal or criminal sanction; it is rather a means by which the State can protect the community from dangerous behaviour that the committed individual is unable to control.”

The court was told that no one had ever been released from the treatment programme in Minnesota since it was set up in 1988.

This \”fair trial\” lark, this civil liberties stuff, means that if you\’re fairly tried, found guilty, then sentenced, well, you did the crime so do the time. If the sentence is life inside so be it.

But if the sentence isn\’t, having served whatever the sentence is then you have to be let out, not locked up indefinitely on hte basis that you are a bad \’un.

For this civil liberties shtick means that you get setnenced for what it is proven you have done. Not for what you might potentially do in the future. And yes, this does apply to paedos just as much as anyone else.

All we need to do now is have a look at the European Arrest Warrant to see whether all our fellow EU jurisdictions offer the same protections as our own system. Unlikely that they do, eh?

12 comments on “We don\’t extradite to places without fair trials

  1. And maybe do something about indeterminate “Imprisonment for Public Protection” sentences in England and Wales, too?

    There is a persuasive case that some people are dangerous and not susceptible to reform through punishment. But I think we should be extremely skeptical of an idea that Parole Boards can miraculously detect when you are dangerous, when you ‘get better’, and thus should be allowed to keep you arbitrarily in prison.

  2. On this subject, I think the Yanks are more in tune with reality than us.

    And how does that square with our own prison system, where you don’t just serve your time, but can be kept behind bars indefinitely if you can’t satisfy the parole board?

  3. Guy Herbert: well, we know parole boards often get it wrong, but with predatory paedophiles I’d say we are better off erring on the side of caution, wouldn’t you?

  4. Julia: No

    Preditory Peado or not we can’t have a system where the state hands out endless sentences at whim. Tim is right–punishment only for deeds done (or deeds where action was taken, even if not completed).
    The fact that the “Land of the Free” has such a system speaks volumes about the ever growing Federal Tyranny over there.

  5. JuliaM: the parole board has no involvement in the release of prisoners who’ve completed their sentence.

    Mr Ecks: what has “Federal Tyranny” got to do with the Minnesota Sex Offender Program?

    If we are going to lock up paedophiles forever, lest they reoffend, should we not also lock up dangerous drivers forever? Far more children are killed in road accidents than by paedophiles.

  6. Didn’t we use to have preventive detention in this country? Or is my memory playing tricks? What about people locked up because they are so dangerous by reason of criminal insanity?

    Anyway, given that there are (I presume) people of such wickedness that public safety requires they be executed or locked up forever, what is to be done?

    The trouble is, I suppose, there is no worthwhile science of lunacy and evil.

  7. Paul, the common defence of the paedophile is that he’s not evil, he ill. The imprisonment is punishment for the offence; the extended, even perpetual, detention protects the public from the – allegedly unavoidable – consequences of the “illness”.

    Or, at least, so goes a theory.

  8. @ JuliaM
    As far as I can see the reason why the judges refused extradition was that the US refused to say that Minnesota would not lock him up for life if he should be found to be innocent. Apparently the commitment proceedings don’t require someone to be guilty, just suspected (and no-one has ever been released).
    The press reports suggest that he is guilty but we all know that press reports are fallible.
    All the USA had to do was to promise that they wouldn’t lock him up for life if he was innocent – apparently that was too much for them.

  9. john77: The US, that is, the Federal government, cannot tell Minnesota (or any other state) how to run their justice system. That is why the assurances could not be made.

  10. We don’t even have that certainty in the UK – parents have their babies snatched by social workers fully backed by the police and so-called family courts, because of what the new parent MIGHT do to the baby. See extensive articles by Christopher Booker in the DT. All of it “secret” and unchallengable and not to be reported.

    Alan Douglas

  11. @ ZT
    They could have made it a condition of applying for extradition in this case. Or they could have ruled that imprisonment without trial is unconstitutional (there is usually a constitutionalist majority on the Supreme Court).
    The result is that because the USA’s demands were so unreasonable they were rejected. Are we to suppose that the US lawyer who applied for extradition has never heard of the Haman Rights Act?

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