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4 Glendale L. Rev. 40 (1982)
The Problems with Lewdness in California

handle is hein.journals/glndallr4 and id is 42 raw text is: COMMENT
The Problems with 'Lewdness'
in California
The word lewd, like the words moral and immoral is mean-
ingless when used to describe sexual behavior today under the Califor-
nia Penal Code. The result is that no fixed principles are usable as a
basis for determining permissible sexual behavior. Consequently, no
one can be expected to know what actions are considered criminal and
which are not. The result of this is statutory inclusion of acts pro-
scribed as well as those not proscribed.
Where this occurs a constitutional problem is created. This is be-
cause fixed principles with which to determine permissible behavior are
absent. Consequently, no one knows which actions are criminal and
which are not.
Such a constitutional problem recently arose in the case of Pryor v.
Municoal Court. This writing will explore the Pryor case in terms of
the problem as well as the extension of the case.
In Pryor v. Municoal Court, Don Pryor sought to prohibit trial on
a charge of violating the Penal Code. The facts involved were as
Pryor solicited an undercover police officer to perform an act of
oral copulation. He was charged with section 647, subdivision (a) of
the Penal Code, soliciting a lewd and dissolute act.'
1. The defendant was also found to be in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in
violation of Health and Safety Section 11357, subdivision (b). The defendant moved to suppress
the introduction of the marijuana and contended that section 647, subdivision (a) was unconstitu-
tional on the ground of vagueness and hence the search was not incident to a lawful arrest. The
motion was denied, and the defendant pled guilty to the marijuana charge. He subsequently


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