Criminal law – statute void for vagueness re animal importation: Commonwealth v. Looper (COA 5/8/2009)

Commonwealth v. Looper
2009 WL 1272625

Opinion by Chief Judge Combs; Judge Acree and Senior Judge Buckingham concurred.

The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court declaring unconstitutional KRS 150.40, which made the importation of the animal family Cervidae into the Commonwealth a Class D felony.

The Court held that the statute was void for vagueness as it did not define the term “importation” so as to put a person on notice of what behavior was prohibited. It was possible to interpret the statute to prohibit mere entry into the Commonwealth from another jurisdiction, to prohibit entry with the intent to remain, to prohibit entry for the purpose of resale or to prohibit transportation through the Commonwealth from and to other states.

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