January 29, 2016 Articles

Karsjens v. Jesson as Ordered: Liberty, Politics, and the Unpopular

The efforts to correct the long-standing constitutional infirmities of the MCTA and MSOP, as found by the court, will continue.

Mária Zulick Nucci – January 29, 2016

In Karsjens v. Jesson, No. 0:11-cv-03659-DWF-JJK, a class of persons civilly committed under Minnesota’s Sex Offender Program (MSOP) challenged the facial and as-applied constitutionality of the Civil Commitment and Treatment Act (MCTA) (Minn. Stat. § 253D) and MSOP in federal court. The history of the MCTA, MSOP, and the six-week trial were detailed by Eric. S. Janus and Jon Brandt in “Karsjens v. Jesson: Challenging the Un-Civil Commitment of Civil Rights,” in the Summer 2015 issue of this newsletter.

On June 15, 2015, Judge Donovan W. Frank issued his findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order, concluding that the statute was unconstitutional on its face and as applied, and directed the parties to develop remedies and relief to correct the deficiencies in MSOP, beginning with an August 10, 2015, remedies phase pre-hearing; several nonparty public officials and private sector persons were encouraged to participate in the pre-hearing.Karsjens, slip op. at 75–76.

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