Separation of Powers Doctrine: A Viable Challenge to the Nebraska Habitual Criminal Statute, The
McHugh, Mary M.
INTRODUCTION|An habitual criminal statute authorizes a sentencing court to impose a heavier penalty for repetitious criminal conduct. Ordinarily, evidence of prior criminal convictions is presented to a court and upon substantiation of the identity of the individual as a prior offender, the sentencing court is authorized, and in some cases, is required, to impose an additional sentence. Generally, the constitutionality of imposing an enhanced sentence for repetitious criminal conduct is no longer seriously questioned. Indeed, as early as 1912, Mr. Justice Hughes, writing for a unanimous United States Supreme Court said that the propriety of such punishment was well established in the United States. Specifically, habitual criminal statutes have been held not to subject an offender to double jeopardy or cruel and unusual punishment. Similarly, equal protection and due process arguments have not been favorably received by the courts. The rationale sustaining the statutes' constitutionality focuses on the notion that no new offense is charged...
11 Creighton L. Rev. 925 (1977-1978)
Creighton University School of Law