414 U.S. 955 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

TRINKLER v. ALABAMA , 414 U.S. 955 (1973)

414 U.S. 955

State of ALABAMA.
No. 72-1487.

Supreme Court of the United States

October 23, 1973

On petitioner for writ of certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

Petition for writ of certiorari granted, judgment vacated and case remanded to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama for further consideration in light of Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973); Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 93 S. Ct. 2628 (1973); Kaplan v. California, 413 U.S. 115, 93 S. Ct. 2680 (1973); United States v. 12 200-ft. Reels of Super 8 mm. Film, 413 U.S. 123 (1973); United States v. Orito, 413 U.S. 139

Page 414 U.S. 955 , 956

(1973); Heller v. New York, 413 U.S. 483 ( 1973); Roaden v. Kentucky, 413 U.S. 496 ( 1973); and Alexander v. Virginia, 413 U.S. 836 (1973).

On remand, affirmed, 299 So.2d 780.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, with whom Mr. Justice BRENNAN, Mr. Justice STEWART, and Mr. Justice MARSHALL concur, dissenting.

The Court today remands this case for reconsideration in light of last June's obscenity decisions. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals will now decide whether the publications here are obscene in accordance with standards that no one could have predicted at the time that these publications were sold. It must determine whether the sale of these publications, which were never offered to minors, never displayed publicly to unwilling bystanders, for which purchase was never solicited, could constitutionally be prohibited because they 'appealed to the prurient interest' of the average person applying local community standards, were 'patently offensive' under such standards, and lacked 'serious' literary, artistic, political or scientific value. (413 U.S. 15, 37 L. Ed.2d 419.)

Just recently this Court reiterated that '[i]t is a basic principle of due process that an enactment is void for vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined.'

    'Vague laws offend several important values. First, because we assume that man is free to steer between lawful and unlawful conduct, we insist that laws give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what it prohibited, so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Second, if arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is to be prevented, laws must provide explicit standards for those who apply [414 U.S. 955 , 957]

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