Homeless in Boulder, CO? Camping could land you in jail

A homeless man campingDon’t camp out in Boulder, CO, unless you want to spend a night in the slammer.

The Colorado chapter of the ACLU has filed an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court on behalf of a homeless man who was convicted under the city’s anti-camping law.

The man, David Lee Madison, was convicted last summer of violating the city’s code by sleeping in a sleeping bag outside.  According to the law, it’s only illegal to sleep outside if you use a shelter and the judge ruled that a sleeping bag was shelter.

This is one of the more nonsensical laws I’ve ever heard.  You can legally pass out on the grass, but if you’re using a sleeping bag, you’re breaking the law.

According to the ACLU, the law is a restriction of individuals “fundamental right to move freely about and remain if public places” and may also violate the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Bottom line:  Find a national park or a camp ground if you feel like sleeping under the stars in Boulder, CO.

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