WA law: life in jail for illegal sex

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A new Washington State law that allows for life-long civil confinement of persons who at any time were convicted of having illegal sex is provoking strong opposition from civil libertarians and psychiatrists. The measure passed last year after a few publicized violent sex crimes by repeat offenders became a political issue. The law permits the state to incarcerate for an indeterminate period any person convicted of a sex offense whom a jury decides may commit a similar crime in the future. [...]

Under the law, an adult convicted of having consensual sex with a 15-year-old could be confined for life so long as he or she was believed to continue to feel sexual desire for persons under 16, since such desire would in itself constitute an "abnormality" under the law, even though it indicates no recognized "mental illness."

source: Article 'WA Law: Life in jail for illegal sex' by Bill Andriette; Nambla Bulletin, Vol. 12, n. 2; March 1991