In re Leon G

In In re Leon G., 204 Ariz. 15, 59 P.3d 779 (2002), two sex offenders argued that Arizona's SVP Act lacks a requirement that the state prove that an alleged SVP's mental disorder causes him to have "serious difficulty in controlling behavior," as required by Crane. 204 Ariz. at 21, P 16, 59 P.3d at 785. The Arizona Supreme Court explained that Arizona's SVP Act comports with Kansas v. Crane and Kansas v. Hendricks even though it does not contain an express statutory provision requiring the state to prove that an individual has "serious difficulty in controlling" his behavior because the statute necessarily requires the state to prove that the alleged SVP's dangerousness results from a mental impairment. Id. at 22, P 22, 59 P.3d at 786. The court stated: The Arizona SVP act requires much more than a finding of dangerousness. The statute permits confinement only if the state demonstrates the cause and effect relationship between the alleged SVP's mental disorder and a high probability the individual will commit future acts of violence. Typical recidivists who choose to commit acts of sexual violence do not fall within the purview of Arizona's SVP act. The state may commit only those persons who lack control because a mental disorder, not a voluntary choice, makes them likely to commit sexually violent acts. Hence, although the statute does not expressly refer to "serious difficulty in controlling behavior," the statutory language does embody the functional equivalent of that phrase. Therefore, Arizona's SVP act distinguishes "the dangerous sexual offender whose serious mental . . . disorder subjects him to civil commitment from the dangerous but typical recidivist convicted in an ordinary criminal case" in compliance with Hendricks and Crane. Crane, 534 U.S. at 411-412, 122 S. Ct. at 870. 204 Ariz. at 23-24, P 29, 59 P.3d at 787-88.