CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"US government challenges Idaho ordinance that criminalizes sleeping in public by the homeless"

From Jurist:

Last week the US Department of Justice [official website] challenged[complaint, PDF] the constitutionality of a Boise, Idaho city ordinance that criminalizes sleeping in public places by the homeless. The federal government's argument[Washington Post report] relies on the fact that everyone needs to sleep and by criminalizing the act of sleeping the law criminalizes homelessness itself. For the estimated half million homeless people across the nation, the government suggests that a law prohibiting them from sleeping is an form of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eight Amendment of the US constitution.

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