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3. Harsh and excessive

State v. Paris Markese Chambers, 2019AP17-18-CR, 5/12/20, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The State charged 17 year old Chambers with 8 crimes involving car theft, damage to property, and bail jumping across two cases. His maximum sentence exposure was 29.5 years and a $75,000 fine. The trial court imposed a… Read More

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Jones v. Mississippi, USSC No.  18-1259, certiorari granted 3/9/20. Question presented: Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole. On February 26th, SCOTUS dismissed Randall Mathena, Warden v. Lee Boyd Malvo, USSC No. 18-217, which raised the… Read More

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Holguin-Hernandez v. United States, USSC No. 18-7739, cert granted 5/30/19 Question presented: Whether a formal objection after pronouncement of sentence is necessary to invoke appellate reasonableness review of the length of a defendant’s sentence. USSC docket; SCOTUSblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In the 5th Circuit, counsel must object to the sentence after… Read More

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Randall Mathena, Warden v. Lee Boyd Malvo, USSC No. 18-217, certiorari granted 3/18/19 Question presented: Montgomery v. Alabama, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016)), held that the new constitutional rule announced in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), applies retroactively to cases on collateral review. Did the the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals err in… Read More

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Kahler v. Kansas, USSC No. 18-6135, certiorari granted 3/18/19 Question presented: Do the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense? Decision below; USSC docket; Scotusblog page As Scotusblog explains, Kahler was convicted of killing his, wife, kids, and his wife’s grandmother, and he was sentenced to death. His lawyers argued… Read More

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Sentencing challenges rejected

State v. Angela L. Staten, 2018AP1506-CR, District 1, 3/19/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Staten and her two co-defendants engaged in a course of tax fraud that netted them over $200,000 in tax refunds that didn’t belong to them. Staten, the first of the three sentenced, argues that her sentence was unduly… Read More

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Timbs v. Indiana, USSC No. 17-1091, February 20, 2019, reversing State v. Timbs, 84 N.E.3d 1179 (Ind. 2017); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) “The question presented: Is the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause an ‘incorporated’ protection applicable to the States under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause?” The answer: Yes. Like the Eighth… Read More

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State v. Jevon Dion Jackson, 2017AP712, District 1, 8/28/18 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions holding that the Eighth Amendment limits the imposition of life sentences on juveniles, Jackson argues he is entitled to a new sentencing hearing or sentence modification. The court of appeals concludes… Read More

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