U.S. Supreme Court
Hans Nielsen, Petitioner, 131 U.S. 176 (1889)
Hans Nielsen, Petitioner
Argued April 19, 22, 1889
Decided May 13, 1889
131 U.S. 176
APPEAL FROM THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
COURT OF THE TERRITORY OF UTAH
Where a court is without authority to pass a particular sentence, such sentence is void, and the defendant imprisoned under it may be discharged on habeas corpus.
A judgment in a criminal case denying to the prisoner a constitutional right or inflicting an unconstitutional penalty is void, and he may be discharged on habeas corpus.