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Name: People v. McKnight
Case #: A123119
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/12/2012

Because the sexually violent predator (SVP) individual is differently situated than the mentally disordered offender (MDO) and the not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI) individual, disparate treatment is justified and there is no violation of equal protection. Appellant’s case was remanded for proceedings consistent with People v. McKee (2010) 47 Cal.4th 1172. In McKee, the Supreme Court ruled that the State had the burden of demonstrating why SVP’s, but not any other ex-felons subject to civil commitment, such as MDO’s and NGI’s, are subject to indefinite commitment, and remanded to allow the State to meet its burden. The State subsequently established that because the SVP poses a substantially greater risk to society than the other type of class, disparate treatment is justified. Here, appellant unsuccessfully argued that his equal protection claim was not resolved by McKee because his case was different in that he was not convicted of crimes against children. This claim failed because McKee did not base its finding on crimes specifically against children. McKee also was applicable because it considered SVP’s as a class and was not restricted to appellant McKee, alone.