vagueness doctrine

vagueness doctrine
Under this principle, a law (e.g., criminal statute) which does not fairly inform a person of what is commanded or prohibited is unconstitutional as violative of due process. The doctrine originates in due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment, and is basis for striking down legislation which contains insufficient warning of what conduct is unlawful. McCrary v. State, Ala.Cr.App., 429 So.2d 1121, 1123.
It requires that penal statutes give notice to ordinary person of what is prohibited and provide definite standards to guide discretionary actions of police officers so as to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory law enforcement. Porta v. Mayor, City of Omaha, Neb., D.C.Neb., 593 F.Supp. 863, 865.
See also vague
- void for vagueness doctrine

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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