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Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He has been selected to write the new ABA book: DUI and Drug Possession Defense".

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rule of lenity

rule of lenity

The rule of lenity is an important principle of statutory construction; if a statutory ambiguity cannot be resolved by analysis of the relevant text and the use of extrinsic aids, the rule requires that the ambiguity be resolved in favor of the defendant. State v. Gelman, 195 N.J. 475, 482 (2008) (citing United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. 336, 348, 92 S. Ct. 515, 523, 30 L. Ed.2d 488, 497 (1971)). The rule of lenity derives from the principle that “[n]o one shall be punished for a crime unless both that crime and its punishment are clearly set forth in positive law.” In re DeMarco, 83 N.J. 25, 36 (1980).