Court Upholds Evaluation Tool for Sexual Predators

FEBRUARY 14, 2007 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has approved an evaluation tool that helps decide whether people are considered sexually violent predators.

People who are determined by a jury to be sexual predators can be kept in state custody after their normal prison sentences expire.

The court ruled 4-to-3 in favor of allowing experts to use a statistical analysis of other sex offenders to determine whether a particular offender might commit sex crimes in the future.

A jury then can consider the testimony based on that analysis. The Supreme Court says those procedures are used in 15 of the 17 states that have sexual predator laws.

They also have been used in at least five Missouri cases in the past three years.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)