H Guilty Bystander Law Struck Down in Nebraska

The Nebraska Supreme Court held unconstitutional a slate law that made il a crime "to visit or be in any room, dwelL ing house, vehicle or place where any controlled subslance is being used, .. if the person has knowledge that such activity is occurring." The court: found the statute so poorly wotded thai it offered no guidance as to how a citizen of ordinary intelligence could avoid breaking il; Judge Donald Brodecky's majority opinion staled that any law so vague thai people have lo guess at ils meaning is a violation of the right to due process.

The law had been one of Nebraska's most widely used since ils passage in 1971, Lancaster County Attorney Ron Lahners. reported that his office got as many convictions under it as for actual possession - abou 1100a year.

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