In re Chapman, 428 Mass. 293 (Mass. 2019)
Nature of Case: Petitioner was convicted of sex offenses in the 1970s and received a lengthy criminal sentence. Towards the end of that criminal sentence, state authorities sought to have him civilly committed, and he was committed. Thereafter, he petitioned for release and pursuant to Massachusetts’ law, he was evaluated by two qualified examiners — neither of whom opined that petitioner remained a SVP. Because neither of the qualified examiners opined that petitioner continued to meet the statutory definition of an SVP, he was entitled to discharge pending his trial, but the state sought review.
Holding: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that petitioner was entitled to release. Prior law indicates that where neither examiner continues to opine that petitioner meets the definition of SVP, he is entitled to release pending trial