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Judge Decides 1 Case Under Urban Camping Ban In Denver Is Cruel & Unusual Punishment

DENVER (CBS4) - A Denver County Court judge ruled one case under the urban camping ban violates the 8th Amendment. This summer, Denver voters decided overwhelmingly to keep the urban camping ban. Officials with the City and County of Denver say they'll appeal the ruling.

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"Citing the fact that the homeless are a powerless group who have been subject to a long history of discrimination both in Denver and Colorado, and that homeless individuals in Denver cannot meaningfully access adequate shelter, the court held that the urban camping ban violates the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment because it criminalizes homeless individuals, who have nowhere to go, for simply attempting to survive on Denver's streets," Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, stated.

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"This mirrors the recent opinion from the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco striking down the Boise, Idaho urban camping ban. The United States Supreme Court recently allowed that ruling to stand," the legal office stated. "This ruling prohibits the Denver police from arresting or harassing homeless people who are simply trying to survive on the streets. The decision is part of a broader movement by the courts to prohibit cities from enacting laws that seek to push homeless individuals out of sight."

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The group Denver Homeless Out Loud has fought to lift the ban.

Pictures from yesterday's last minute rally demanding City Council follow the Supreme Court action letting 9th Circuit...

Posted by Denver Homeless Out Loud on Saturday, December 21, 2019

You can read the full order issued by the court here.

"We disagree with the ruling and plan to appeal to District Court," stated Ryan S. Luby, Public Information Officer for the City Attorney's Office for the City and County of Denver.

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