Civil rights advocates threaten to sue over Pataki's sex offender confinement plan

Some civil rights advocates are threatening to sue over Governor George Pataki?s (R-NY) move to keep some sex offenders locked up after their sentences are complete.

Under Pataki?s procedure, which is an extension of New York?s involuntary commitment law, convicted sex offenders are evaluated before their release from prison. If they are found to be a public safety risk, they are held in a facility for a longer period of time. The governor implemented the guidelines after legislators repeatedly rejected civil confinement legislation.

The issue took on a new urgency in Westchester after Phillip Grant admitted to killing Connie Russo Carriero in the Galleria Mall parking garage in White Plains in June. Grant, a convicted sex offender, had spent his nights at the county-run homeless drop-in center at the airport.The New York Civil Liberties Union says it will watch the process before deciding whether to go to court.

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