The below is OCEAN Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 5, Article 5 (Nov. 13, 2019) published by Russell J. Hatton & Daniel A. Wilson from the gulag in Moose Lake Minnesota.
To get indefinitely civilly committed in Minnesota it is not necessary to prove that a person is out of control, or that s/he is physically violent, but only that s/he was emotionally harmful to others. In court, hearsay is admissible. Allegations are admissible. Self-disclosed crimes, even admitted as part of treatment. . . from decades ago … are admissible. The person being considered for commitment does not have a right to a jury trial and not even a single sex offense conviction is necessary. In fact, 12% of the men indefinitely committed at MSOP have either no felony conviction of any kind, or have an “unknown” criminal record. At the time of this statistic, there were 575 men committed to MSOP. That comes out to 69 men that do not have a criminal record at all. If we apply that same 12% to today’s population of 731 men, that means that there are about 87 men without a criminal history, indefinitely committed to MSOP.
At page 2 1, the DSM-5 explains that an individual must display a “current presentation” (6 months for sexual disorders)1 of their diagnosis for them to be considered for having a mental disorder. MSOP knows this, so they tried to get around releasing patients by changing the legal status of the MSOP facility. Melissa Hamilton from Pace University School of Law explains what happens when these terms get played with:
Fear of sexual predators has led society to adopt a law-psychiatry interface in which sexual offending is merged into a disease-based philosophy to justify various forms of punishment and preventive control. Sex crimes have become conflated with psychiatric disease. The multiple concerns expressed herein strongly suggest that the use of the psychiatric paraphilias in legal proceedings tends to undermine the independence and integrity of the legal and psychiatric professions. For the mental health field, the vagary of diagnostic criteria and the significant discretion subsequently provided has led to inconsistent and questionable diagnoses. The scientific requirements of validity and reliability make the DSM paraphilias highly questionable even for treatment purposes. For legal purposes, considering the significant negative consequences that follow, they are a poor fit in the law. The widespread acceptance of mental disorders for sexual deviance, despite these substantial scientific problems, ignores significant issues of due process and equity considering they help dictate infringements on fundamental interests of defendants.
Unfortunately, it appears that law and psychiatry will remain complicit in adapting diagnoses of mental illness to criminal justice officials’ desire to control sex offenders. Academics and practitioners have sought the removal of the paraphilias from the DSM because labeling sexual behaviors as pathological has done great harm to many defendants. However, it is also recognized that removing the paraphilias, most particularly pedophilia, would be a public relations disaster for psychiatry. The APA’s continuing involvement is evident with the overuse of paraphilia NOS, for example, and its ongoing consideration of adopting new paraphilias, such as rape paraphilia and hebephilia, that serve prosecutorial interests. The law’s entrenchment is likewise strong, including the repeated acceptance in judicial decisions favorably embracing mental disease for sexual deviance-even those not otherwise specified-threatens to permit more shoehorning diagnoses to satisfy criminal justice goals. The collaboration threatens not only the liberty and privacy interests of those who commit sex-based offenses. The potential exists for a contagion effect whereby interest groups might be encouraged to qualify all manner of criminal behaviors as distinct mental disorders. Accordingly, if the interaction between law and psychiatry continues in this manner, all criminals may be deemed to have mental disorders. This outcome makes no logical sense, undermines the core tenets of the law, infringes upon fundamental rights, and methodically destroys trust in the science of psychiatry.2
This “law-psychiatry interface” is in part, why MSOP has been able to get away with what they are doing. MSOP maintains control of their scheme not with morals or science, but with confusion and technicalities of law and procedure. Minnesota Department of Corrections Director Grant Duwe concluded that: nearly two-thirds of these offenders would be unlikely to be rearrested for another sex offense in their lifetime if they were released to the community.
Applying this “false-positive” rate for 700-plus people who are committed, we can conclude that over 400 human beings are being held unconstitutionally because the MSOP’s intentional thwarting of the duration limits.
MSOP’s failure to adhere to the duration limits is not simply a sign that the program is not working properly. It is an intentional design feature of MSOP that other states have eschewed. It represents an intentional rejection of the core constitutional marker of a genuine civil commitment scheme. The Court of Appeals’ ruling allows no remedy for this misuse of civil commitment.3
1 APA Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed. Arlington, VA, APA, 2 013, pp. 685-705.
2Melissa Hamilton. “Adjudicating Sex Crimes as Mental Disease,” 33 Pace L. Rev. 536, Spring Is. 2 013,
©2013 Pace Univ. School of Law, pp. 598, 599.
3ERIC S. JANUS Professor of Law MITCHELL HAMLINE SCHOOL OF LAW & RICHARD D. SNYDER,
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. On Petition For Writ Of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals
For The Eighth Circuit, pg. 12.