Published November, 2020
Baughman v. Commonwealth, Amicus Brief, VA Sup Ct, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (2020)
CHLP filed this amicus brief with the Supreme Court of Virginia in support of Galen Baughman, a young gay man at risk of indefinite civil confinement due to an unjust designation as a “sexually violent predator” (SVP). Earlier this year, on the basis of a technical parole violation—sending non-sexual text messages to a sixteen-year-old acquaintance in another state—and despite having no record of violence, Galen was convicted of having a mental abnormality that predisposes him to commit violent sex crimes in the future. CHLP’s brief, which supports Galen’s petition for appeal, describes the deep homophobic bias embedded in an already-Orwellian civil commitment assessment process, and in the drive to confine him as a dangerous predator in the absence of credible evidence.
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