Manhattan Judge Jacqueline W. Silbermann ruled this week that a second group of sex offenders being held at a Wards Island psychiatric hospital are entitled to hearings on whether they should remain in custody.  The State Supreme Court decision strikes another blow to Governor George Pataki's effort last fall to detain sex offenders who have served out their prison sentences, using existing state civil confinement law.  Bills legalizing civil confinement of sex offenders who have served their sentences but are deemed to be a danger to the community have failed to pass in the Assembly for a number of years.  This year both the Assembly and the Senate have introduced civil confinement bills.

(New York)