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Jurors were asked to decide Monday whether former Governor George Pataki's decision to divert violent sex offenders into mental institutions after their prison terms ended was an abuse of power or a well-intended effort to protect the public. The program initiated in 2005 was a "sham" attempt to "bypass the Constitution," plaintiffs' attorney Reza Rezvani said in closing arguments at a civil trial in federal court in Manhattan. "You know that the Constitution applies to everybody… No one is saying don't lock up the bad guys. But you do it right and you're fair."

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