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WyLiberty Publishes Comprehensive Paper on Reforming Wyoming Criminal Law

CHEYENNE, WY – The Wyoming Liberty Group released a comprehensive policy paper today, “Criminal Law in Wyoming: An Overview and Analysis of Possible Reforms.” The latest issue in WyLiberty’s series, the Liberty Brief, the paper provides a broad assessment of Wyoming criminal statutes and addresses potential changes to law and policy. These reforms include amending or repealing certain criminal statutes, changing Wyoming’s approach to criminal sentencing, and enacting new laws that reduce strict liability offenses.

 

“Wyoming’s criminal code did not appear overnight; it was built piece-by-piece since Wyoming’s founding, one legislative session at a time,” said Steve Klein, WyLiberty staff attorney. “The paper assesses the result, and finds discrepancies along with plenty of silly illegalities that don’t need to be punished with jail or prison time.”

The paper notes that Wyoming lacks any statute of limitations, allowing a citizen to be charged with any crime years after it is allegedly committed while most states only allow charges for the very serious crimes, such as murder, to never expire. It also discusses disparate penalties between crimes, noting the same penalties are applied to prostitution and taking continental breakfast from a hotel.

“Some reforms will be welcomed by all, while others will be more difficult to pass the Legislature,” said Klein. “This paper is a platform for WyLiberty to continue its leadership on criminal justice reform, ensuring that constitutional rights remain the highest law.”

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The paper’s author, Casandra Craven, earned her law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law in December and recently joined the Washakie County Attorney’s Office. The opinions expressed in the paper are her own.

Download the paper here.

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Friday, 20 October 2017
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