Sunday, July 25, 2021

Cary Federman's "Democracy and Deliberation"

Cary Federman is associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University and the author of The Body and the State: Habeas Corpus and American Jurisprudence and The Assassination of William McKinley: Anarchism, Insanity, and the Birth of the Social Sciences.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Democracy and Deliberation: The Law and Politics of Sex Offender Legislation, and reported the following:
Unfortunately, the University of Michigan Press put my case law citations to chapter 2 on page 99. But if we look at pages 94 and 101, the two pages that directly precede and succeed page 99, we get a fair appraisal of what could have been on page 99.

Page 94 is the conclusion to chapter 2, called “Confining the Mentally Ill and Dangerous.” That chapter concerns the arrest of Terry Foucha, who was found guilty of breaking and entering. Foucha pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and was put into a mental facility. After two years, he claimed he was no longer insane and so he petitioned for release. The Supreme Court held that Louisiana could not hold Foucha for being dangerous without finding a mental disorder. The case is important for sex offender law because it provides the required legal analysis for all future postconviction civil commitment cases that rely on mental disorders to establish the dangerousness of sex offenders. Page 101 is the first page of chapter 3, and it is equally 99-ish, as it describes how the Supreme Court and the states have defined the psychopathic offender in sex offender civil commitment cases.

Apart from examining the constitutionality of sex offender laws, including going over the psychological literature regarding mental disorders, the book also analyzes the constitutionality of residency restrictions, which restrict where convicted sex offenders can live and work, and registration requirements, which require that released sex offenders must register with their local police departments.

All in all, the two pages that straddle page 99 are good summaries of the book itself.
Learn more about Democracy and Deliberation at the University of Michigan Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Assassination of William McKinley.

--Marshal Zeringue