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SVP – Sufficiency of Evidence – Actuarial Instruments

State v. Steven J. Burgess, 2003 WI 71, affirming 2002 WI App 264, 258 Wis. 2d 548, 654 N.W.2d 81
For Burgess: Steven P. Weiss, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶25. Burgess challenges his commitment based on the use of actuarial instruments in his chapter 980 commitment proceeding because they did not take into account his mental health. Consequently, Burgess contends that the instruments are irrelevant for chapter 980 proceedings because there must be a nexus between an offender’s mental disorder and the probability of committing sexually violent acts in the future. Although actuarial instruments were utilized by expert witnesses for both the State and Burgess, there was sufficient evidence, aside from the actuarial data, for the jury to reasonably find that there is a substantial probability that Burgess will reoffend due to his mental disorders. Accordingly, the use of actuarial data in Burgess’s chapter 980 proceedings does not affect our decision. …

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