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AGO 1950 No. 365 - October 09, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

PAROLE OF CERTAIN INMATES IN STATE INSTITUTIONS

Section 50, chapter 198, Laws of 1949, should be construed as applying to all the specific types of persons who are committed under the provisions of chapter 198, Laws of 1949.

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                                                                 October 9, 1950

Honorable H. D. Van Eaton
Director, Department of Public Institutions
Public Lands-Social Security Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 365

Attention:  Mr. Van R. Hinkle, Supervisor

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of October 3, 1950, in which you ask the following question:

            Does section 50, chapter 198, Laws of 1949 (6953-50 Rem. Supp. 1949) apply solely to the psychopathic delinquent category referred to in the entire act, or does chapter 50 apply to proceedings wherein mentally ill, sexual psychopaths, etc., are committed?

            The conclusions reached may be summarized as follows:

            Section 50 should be construed as applying to all the specific types of persons who are committed under the provisions of chapter 198, Laws of 1949.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            You have called our attention to section 50, chapter 198, Laws of 1949 (6953-50 Rem. Supp. 1949) and asked the specific question as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "Our question is whether such provisions apply solely to the psychopathic delinquent category to which the preceding and succeeding sections apply, or does the wording "committed under the provisions of this act" make such applicable to proceedings wherein mentally ill, sexual psychopaths, etc., are committed."

            It is proper to consider the title of any act in arriving at legislative intent.  The title to chapter 198 reads:

            "AN ACT relating to state government; providing for the commitment, custody, detention, treatment, parole and discharge of mentally ill, inebriated and dipsomaniac persons, sexual psychopaths and psychopathic delinquent persons; prescribing the powers and duties of certain officers, and defining crimes and prescribing penalties."

            It would, therefore, seem that the provisions of section 50, supra, are applicable to all persons who are committed "under the provisions of this act," that is, under the provisions of chapter 198.  The title of the act specifically provides that the act relates to: "providing for * * *parole and discharge of mentally ill, inebriated and dipsomaniac persons, sexual psychopaths and psychopathic delinquent persons."  It would seem to us that section 50, supra, should be construed as applying to all the specific types of persons above indicated and to all those who are committed under the provisions of chapter 198, Laws of 1949.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

GEORGE DOWNER
Assistant Attorney General

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