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Civil commitment vs. criminal trials

  • March 23, 2011 - 4:45 PM

 

Civil commitment trial

• No right to jury.*

• Proof by clear and convincing evidence.**

• Subject must testify.

• Confinement is indefinite.

Criminal trial

• Right to jury.

• Proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

• Defendant may remain silent.

• Sentence is defined.

* 16 of the 19 states that civilly commit sex offenders allow jury trials. ** 12 of the 19 states require higher standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

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