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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: S107266
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/21/2003
Subsequent History: None
Summary

The Supreme Court determines that a separate “control” instruction is not constitutionally necessary under Kansas v. Crane (2001) U.S. 407. By its express terms, the SVPA limits persons eligible for commitment to those few who have already been convicted of violent sexual offenses against multiple victims ( § 6600, subd. (a)(1)), and who have “diagnosed mental disorder[s]” (ibid.) “affecting the emotional or volitional capacity” (id., subd. (c)) that “predispose[ ] [them] to the commission of criminal sexual acts in a degree constituting [them] menace[s] to the health and safety of others” (ibid.), such that they are “likely [to] engage in sexually violent criminal behavior” (id., subd. (a)(1)). This language inherently encompasses and conveys to a fact finder the requirement of a mental disorder that causes serious difficulty in controlling one’s criminal sexual behavior. The SVPA’s plain words thus suffice “to distinguish the dangerous sexual offender whose serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder subjects him to civil commitment from the dangerous but typical recidivist convicted in an ordinary criminal case.” (Kansas v. Crane, at p. 413.)