Kansas v. Hendricks Page 2

Kansas v. Hendricks general information

Media for Kansas v. Hendricks

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1996 in Kansas v. Hendricks

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 23, 1997 in Kansas v. Hendricks

The Act thus entitles Hendricks to immediate release upon showing that he is no longer dangerous.

Finally, the Act is not necessarily punitive if it fails to offer treatment where treatment is either not possible, or if possible, is merely an -- an ancillary state concern.

The conclusion that the Act is non-punitive removes an essential prerequisite for Hendricks' -- Hendricks' double jeopardy and ex post facto claims.

Initiation of the civil commitment proceedings against Hendricks does not violate double jeopardy.

Because the Act is civil in nature, it commit -- its commitment proceedings do not constitute a second prosecution.

As this commitment is not tantamount to punishment, the detention does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause, even though it follows a prison term.

We also reject Hendricks' argument that the Act fails the “same elements” test of Blockburger versus United States, because that test does not apply outside of the successive prosecution context.

Hendricks' ex post facto claim is similarly flawed.

The Court has held at the Ex Post Facto Clause pertains exclusively to penal statutes.Because the Act is not punitive, its application does not raise ex post facto concerns.

Moreover, the Act does not have retroactive effect; rather, it bases Hendricks' commitment on the grounds of a current mental abnormality and the likelihood of future dangerousness.

It does not criminalize conduct legal before its enactment or deprive Hendricks of any defense that was available to him at the time of his crimes.

Justice Kennedy has filed a concurring opinion.

Justice Breyer has filed a dissenting opinion, which Justices Stevens and Souter have joined, and of which, Justice Ginsburg has joined Parts II and III.