Sentencing and the Eighth Amendment - Essay Example

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More than 650 people are serving life imprisonment for holding small quantities of narcotics. Such sentences are inhumane and make no rational…
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Sentencing and the Eighth Amendment
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Sentencing and the Eighth Amendment Sentencing and the Eighth Amendment Question Currently, 344 individuals are serving life imprisonment in California for shoplifting a small amount of goods (Schmalleger, 2006). More than 650 people are serving life imprisonment for holding small quantities of narcotics. Such sentences are inhumane and make no rational sense. Especially in a country that prides itself on human courtesy, and with a charter that prohibits unusual and cruel punishment. This is not right.
Question 2
The U.S Supreme Court denied certiorari in this case because it had to consider the accused previous offenses. The three strikes law clearly states that if a person is convicted more than two times for minor offenses, the third strike will either lead to a 25 year jail term or life imprisonment (Schmalleger, 2006). It was unfair to jail a person for life because he stole a bottle of vitamins. Furthermore, the court viewed the matter as a petty theft due to hunger, but the law had to be applied.
Question 3
Similar cases of certiorari denial will probably appear in future. This is due to the recent increase of offenses all across America, California included. Shoplifting is not something new, and the trend appears not to be dropping soon (Schmalleger, 2006). According to the California courts, the three strikes law will always apply to offenders with more than three criminal records. This can only be changed if the courts decide to amend their law. The three strikes law should apply only to severe and serious crimes.
Question 4
The same case applies here. It is rare for a court to go against its laws and judge a case out of common sense (Schmalleger, 2006). Hence, if a case such as Riggs is heard in the future, then the verdict will still be the same. This could only change if the courts decide to amend their laws.
Schmalleger, F. (2006). Criminal Law Today: An Introduction with Capstone Cases (3rd ed). New York: Prentice Hall. Read More
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