Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Ronnie Hall

Document Type



This Note will suggest some possible improvements to Texas's approach to handling the offenders it and other states have chosen to label "sexually violent predators," including the option that Texas replace its SVP statute with an inpatient civil commitment regime similar to those in other states. Part II of this Note will reflect some historical background behind civil commitment, including the traditional rationales underlying it, the early emphasis on procedural due process in nineteenth century American jurisprudence, and the development of commitment laws specifically aimed at sex offenders in the twentieth century. Part III will address the state of the law on this issue in Texas, which provides for a unique statutory outpatient regime. Part IV will focus on the Fisher case, following it through every step of litigation, from Michael Fisher's commitment hearing, through the state appellate process, to the denial of certiorari by the United States Supreme Court. Along the way, it will highlight the ways in which Fisher exemplifies problems in the practical application of the Texas SVP statute. Finally, Part V will point out some changes the legislature has made to the SVP statute since its initial adoption in 1999 and will suggest additional needed changes.



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