Divided FL Supreme Court orders review of post-prison lock-up of child molestersby Dara Kam | January 21st, 2011
In a split ruling, the Florida Supreme Court has ordered a review of the Jimmy Ryce Act that allows the state to keep pedophiles and other hard-core sex molesters locked up until a judge rules they are fit to return to society.
But some criminals remain in limbo for years waiting for a judge to first rule that they need the treatment that could eventually get them out, a problem the high court said needs review.
The court’s Chief Judge Charles Canady dissented from the 4-3 order in the case of Stephen Morel, who has been behind bars for eight years without receiving treatment while waiting for a judge to order his confinement.
The Department of Children and Families is responsible for providing treatment to the inmates held under the Jimmy Ryce Act, named for a nine-year-old boy who was raped, murdered and dismembered in 1995.
The Court ordered that DCF, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state prosecutors, Morel and his lawyers to hold an emergency hearing in Broward County and report back to them.