Iowa court rules two men can’t be held in civil commitment

The Iowa Supreme Court struck a blow against Iowa’s civil commitment program, ruling that the state couldn’t hold two men indefinitely past their court-mandated sentences.

Here are a couple key quotes from the Associated Press article.

“Preventive detention is very limited in American law because it is seen as antithetical to fundamental liberty interests and the presumption of innocence,” wrote Justice Brent Appel in the Iowa Supreme Court’s majority opinion Friday… 

He said sexually violent predator statutes “threaten to deprive individuals of what from time immemorial has been the weightiest of interests — the interest in individual liberty.” He said the vague and flexible standards of the statutes allows, if not encourages, “a better-safe-than-sorry approach” of locking up sex crime violators indefinitely.

Read more here.

Read the court rulings here and here.

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