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May 28, 2013

"Not Just Kid Stuff? Extending Graham and Miller to Adults"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new article by Michael O'Hear available now via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The United States Supreme Court has recently recognized new constitutional limitations on the use of life-without-parole (LWOP) sentences for juvenile offenders, but has not clearly indicated whether analogous limitations apply to the sentencing of adults.  However, the Court’s treatment of LWOP as a qualitatively different and intrinsically more troubling punishment than any other sentence of incarceration does provide a plausible basis for adults to challenge their LWOP sentences, particularly when they have been imposed for nonviolent offenses or on a mandatory basis.  At the same time, the Court’s Eighth Amendment reasoning suggests some reluctance to overturn sentencing practices that are in widespread use or otherwise seem to reflect deliberate, majoritarian decisionmaking.

This Essay thus suggests a balancing test of sorts that may help to account for the Court’s varied Eighth Amendment decisions in noncapital cases since 1991.  The Essay concludes by considering how this balancing approach might apply to the mandatory LWOP sentence established by 21 U.S.C. §841(b)(1)(A) for repeat drug offenders.

May 28, 2013 at 03:27 PM | Permalink


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The Supreme Court should stop vacationing in Europe and bringing back their sick legal doctrines. Congress should pass a law to end European vacations by any Justice.

Secomd, evolving standards of decency should be made into an impeachable offense. Those are sick cookies sitting on that court. Get rid of them.

Lastly, an Amendment is needed excluding anyone who has passed 1L from all benches, all seats in any legislature, and all responsible policy positions in the executive branch. After 1L, the person is gone. They have been infected permanently by the rent seeking virus of the criminal cult enterprise that is the lawyer profession. They have supernatural beliefs, no matter their prior skepticism. They have loyalty to one entity above nation, family, and even self interest. They have no awareness nor can they understand what has happened to them. No lawyer can believe my self evident arguments. No lawyer can utter the V word.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 29, 2013 6:37:56 AM

Amen, to "Supremacy Claus" posting! Good to see that not all graduates of law school have succumbed to the rampant leftist views so prevalent today in academia.

Posted by: Rupert | May 29, 2013 1:47:35 PM

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