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In re Detention of Dean

March 14, 2003

IN RE DETENTION OF CHARLES DEAN
(THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
CHARLES DEAN, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Warren County, Illinois No. 01-MR-2 Honorable Charles H. Wilhelm, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice McDADE

Released for publication March 21, 2003.

IN RE DETENTION OF CHARLES DEAN
(THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
CHARLES DEAN, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT).

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Warren County, Illinois No. 01-MR-2 Honorable Charles H. Wilhelm, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice McDADE

PUBLISH

A jury found the respondent, Charles Dean, to be a sexually violent person pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (Illinois Act). 725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 2000). The trial court committed him to the Department of Human Services until he no longer is a sexually violent person. On appeal, the respondent argues that the Illinois Act unconstitutionally denies his due process rights because it does not require the jury to determine that he lacks control over his behavior. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

In 1988, the respondent pled guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault of his first wife's nine-year-old niece. In 1992, he pled guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault of his second wife's five-year-old daughter. On February 15, 2001, before he was scheduled to be released from prison for the 1992 offense, the State petitioned the circuit court to commit the respondent as a "sexually violent person" under the Illinois Act (725 ILCS 207/40 (West 2000)). The court held a jury trial on the petition. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the respondent to be a "sexually violent person." The court then ordered that he be civilly committed under the Illinois Act. The respondent appealed.

ANALYSIS

The respondent argues that the Illinois Act violates the United States Supreme Court's holding in Kansas v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407, 151 L. Ed. 2d 856, 122 S. Ct. 867 (2002) (Crane US). In Crane US, the Court considered a Kansas act that contains language similar to the language in the Illinois Act. The respondent contends that in Crane US, the Court required the jury to find that a person lacked control of his behavior in order to civilly commit the person under the Kansas act. The respondent submits that the Illinois Act violates due process rights by failing to require such a finding. We disagree with the respondent's reading of Crane US.

The constitutionality of a statute is a question of law, which we review de novo. People v. Garcia, 199 Ill. 2d 401, 770 N.E.2d 208 (2002).

The Illinois Act states that if the jury finds a person to be a "sexually violent person," the court shall order that the person be civilly committed. 725 ILCS 207/35(f) (West 2000). A "sexually violent person" is a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense and who is dangerous because he suffers from a "mental disorder" that makes it substantially probable that he will engage in acts of sexual violence. 725 ILCS 207/5(f) (West 2000). A "mental disorder" is a congenital or acquired condition affecting the emotional or volitional capacity that predisposes a person to engage in acts of sexual violence. 725 ILCS 207/5(b) (West 2000).

A determination of the constitutionality of the Illinois Act requires a discussion of the case law that preceded Crane US. In Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 138 L. Ed. 2d 501, 117 S. Ct. 2072 (1997), the Court considered the language in the Kansas act which is similar to language in the Illinois Act. Under the Kansas act, a person could be civilly committed if the ...


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