The underlying conditionshabitual course of miscon

Info icon This preview shows pages 201–203. Sign up to view the full content.

inflict injury. The underlying conditions—habitual course of miscon- duct in sexual matters and lack of power to control impulses and likelihood of attack on others—were viewed as calling for evidence of past conduct pointing to probable consequences and as being as susceptible of proof as many of the criteria constantly applied in criminal proceedings. 1104 Conceptually related to the problem of definiteness in criminal statutes is the problem of notice. Ordinarily, it can be said that ig- 1099 Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352, 358 (1983). 1100 City of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41 (1999). 1101 527 U.S. at 62. 1102 Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972). 1103 See, e.g. , McDonnell v. United States, 579 U.S. ___, No. 15–474, slip op. at 23 (2016) (narrowly interpreting the term “official act” to avoid a construction of the Hobbs Act and federal honest-services fraud statute that would allow public officials to be subject to prosecution without fair notice “for the most prosaic interactions” between officials and their constituents). 1104 Minnesota ex rel. Pearson v. Probate Court, 309 U.S. 270 (1940). 2033 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
Image of page 201

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

norance of the law affords no excuse, or, in other instances, that the nature of the subject matter or conduct may be sufficient to alert one that there are laws which must be observed. 1105 On occasion the Court has even approved otherwise vague statutes because the statute forbade only “willful” violations, which the Court construed as requiring knowledge of the illegal nature of the proscribed con- duct. 1106 Where conduct is not in and of itself blameworthy, how- ever, a criminal statute may not impose a legal duty without no- tice. 1107 The question of notice has also arisen in the context of “judge- made” law. Although the Ex Post Facto Clause forbids retroactive application of state and federal criminal laws, no such explicit re- striction applies to the courts. Thus, when a state court abrogated the common law rule that a victim must die within a “year and a day” in order for homicide charges to be brought in Rogers v. Ten- nessee , 1108 the question arose whether such rule could be applied to acts occurring before the court’s decision. The dissent argued vigor- ously that unlike the traditional common law practice of adapting legal principles to fit new fact situations, the court’s decision was an outright reversal of existing law. Under this reasoning, the new “law” could not be applied retrospectively. The majority held, how- ever, that only those holdings which were “unexpected and indefen- sible by reference to the law which had been express prior to the conduct in issue” 1109 could not be applied retroactively. The rela- tively archaic nature of “year and a day rule”, its abandonment by most jurisdictions, and its inapplicability to modern times were all 1105 E.g. , United States v. Freed, 401 U.S. 601 (1971). Persons may be bound by a novel application of a statute, not supported by Supreme Court or other “funda- mentally similar” case precedent, so long as the court can find that, under the cir- cumstance, “unlawfulness . . . is apparent” to the defendant. United States v. Lanier,
Image of page 202
Image of page 203
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern