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NCJ Number: 65009 Find in a Library
Title: ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS - NEW CONFLICTS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION
Journal: ALBANY LAW REVIEW  Volume:43  Issue:2  Dated:(WINTER 1979)  Pages:360-387
Author(s): E F MURRAY
Corporate Author: Union University
Albany Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Union University
Albany, NY 12208
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS OF NEW YORK, NEVADA, PORTLAND, AND SEATTLE ARE EXAMINED AS TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF LEGISLATION THAT IS OFTEN CRITICIZED ON GROUNDS OF VAGUENESS, OVERBREADTH, AND UNEQUAL PROTECTION.
Abstract: IN THE FACE OF INCREASING URBAN PROSTITUTION AND COMMERCIALIZED VICE, MANY MUNICIPALITIES AND STATES HAVE RESPONDED WITH LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO PROSCRIBE THOSE ACTS WHICH NORMALLY PRECEDE THE ACT OF PROSTITUTION. SPECIFICALLY, SUCH LAWS MAKE IT A CRIME TO LOITER OR SOLICIT FOR PROSTITUTION PURPOSES. THREE SIMILAR TYPES OF ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS CAN BE CHARACTERIZED ACCORDING TO STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES. IN THE NEW YORK STATUTE, FORBIDDEN ACTS ARE IDENTIFIED AND DESCRIBED IN DETAIL (IT IS A CRIME TO BECKON, STOP, OR INTERFERE WITH PERSONS OR AUTOMOBILES FOR PURPOSES OF PROSTITUTION.) IN CONTRAST, THE NEVADA STATUTE USES MINIMAL LANGUAGE TO DEFINE FORBIDDEN ACTS (ANY PERSON IS A VAGRANT...WHO SOLICITS ANY ACT OF PROSTITUTION). NEITHER OF THESE LAWS PROVIDE GUIDELINES FOR THE RESPONSIVE ACTIONS OF ARRESTING OFFICERS. PORTLAND AND SEATTLE ORDINANCES, HOWEVER, PROSCRIBE ACTS MUCH LIKE THE NEW YORK STATUTE DOES, BUT REQUIRE THAT THE ATTENDING OFFICERS FIRST MAKE A REASONABLE INQUIRY INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES BEFORE ARRESTING SUSPECTS. CRITICS CONTEND THAT THESE LAWS ARE TOO VAGUE AND CREATE THE POSSIBILITY THAT INDIVIDUALS ENGAGED IN INNOCENT ACTIVITY MAY FALL WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE STATUTES. THE NEW YORK AND NEVADA LAWS HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED ON THE GROUNDS OF VAGUENESS FOR ARREST WITHOUT FAIR NOTICE AND IMPERMISSIBLY DELEGATING BASIC POLICY TO POLICE DISCRETION. MOREOVER, ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS HAVE BEEN CRITICIZED FOR ALLOWING THE CRITERION OF INDIVIDUAL STATUS, AS IN THE CASE OF PROSITUTES, TO JUSTIFY ARREST WITHOUT ASCERTAINING PROBABLE CAUSE. THE REASONABLE INQUIRY PROVISIONS OF SEATTLE AND PORTLAND ORDINANCES, HOWEVER, COMPLY WITH PROBABLE CAUSE GUARANTEES WHILE ACCOMMODATING THE CITIES, LEGITIMATE INTERESTS IN APPREHENDING OFFENDERS. STATUTES ASSAILED FOR OVERBREADTH, A CONSTITUTIONAL DEFICIENCY SIMILAR TO VAGUENESS, INCLUDE PORTAND'S AND NEVADA'S ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS. EQUAL PROTECTION ARGUMENTS HAVE SO FAR BEEN TURNED DOWN BY COURTS CONSIDERING SEX-BIASED DISTINCTIONS IN THE ANTI-PROSTITUTION VAGUENESS AND OVERBREADTH CONSIDERATIONS, LEGISLATIVE INSERTION OF REASONABLE INQUIRY PROVISIONS IN STATE AND MUNICIPAL ANTI-PROSTITUTION LAWS WOULD RESOLVE ARBITRARY ENFORCEMENT AND PROBABLE CAUSE DIFFICULTIES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Criminal Solicitation; Municipal ordinances; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Police discretion; State laws; Victimless crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65009

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