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Fifth Amendment Not Violated By New Hampshire Sex Offender Program

The First Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the New Hampshire DOC's
Sex Offender Program (SOP) does not violate the Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination. Wayne Ainsworth, along with a group of
convicted sex offenders, became willing participants in the SOP until they
realized that they would be required to disclose their histories of sexual
misconduct in order to participate in the program.

Ainsworth and the other prisoners filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claiming that their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was
violated by the requirement to disclose their sexual histories.
The District Court of New Hampshire granted defendants' motion to dismiss
under FRCP 12(b)(6). Ainsworth appealed. The First Circuit Court of
Appeals affirmed the district court's findings. See: Ainsworth v. Risley,
244 F.3d 209 (lst Cir. 2001). Ainsworth appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court
for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court held Ainsworth's petition
until it decided McKune v. Lile, 122 S.Ct. 2017 (2002), which involved a
similar challenge to the Kansas Sex Offender Treatment Program

By a five to four vote, the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of the Kansas program. There was no majority opinion. A
plurality of four justices found that the Kansas program does not compel
prisoners to incriminate themselves in violation of the Fifth Amendment."
With this in mind the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari
and summarily vacated the First Circuit's earlier decision and remanded
the case for further consideration in light of McKune. See: Ainsworth v.
Stanley, 122 S.Ct. 2652 (2002) (mem).

The First Circuit on remand, using the watershed case" of Turner v.
Safley, 107 S. Ct. 2254 (1987), held that there is a penological interest
in rehabilitation. Most criminological studies and social science research
show that admission of crime is a prerequisite for successful treatment of
sex offenders. Because the New Hampshire SOP has a governmental interest
at stake, the reduced chances for parole for refusing to participate in
the SOP did not constitute a penalty in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
The First Circuit affirmed the district court's opinion. See: Ainsworth v.
Stanley, 317 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2002).

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Related legal case

Ainsworth v. Stanley




536 U.S. 953; 122 S. Ct. 2652; 153 L. Ed. 2d 829; 2002 U.S. ; 70 U.S.L.W. 3797; 2002 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5877; 2002 Daily Journal DAR 7356

June 28, 2002, Decided

PRIOR HISTORY: Ainsworth v. Risley, 244 F.3d 209, 2001 U.S. App. (1st Cir. N.H. 2001)

DISPOSITION: Vacated and remanded.

JUDGES: [**1] Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer.

OPINION: [*2652] The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for further consideration in light of McKune v. Lile, [*2653] 536 U.S. 24, 153 L. Ed. 2d 47, 122 S. Ct. 2017, 2002 U.S. LEXIS 4206 (2002).