THE SUPREME COURT OF DESMOND CORRECTLY RULED THAT THE SMITHS SENTENCE OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE DOES NOT REPRESENT CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT IN VIOLATION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.
“The Eighth Amendment, which applies against the States by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: ‘Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.’” Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 962 (1991). The “cruel and unusual punishments clause” of the Eighth Amendment was “directed at prohibiting certain methods of punishment.” Id. at 979 (quoting Granucci, "Nor Cruel and Unusual Punishments Inflicted:" The Original Meaning, 57 Calif. L. Rev. 839, 842 (1969)).
A. Smith’s sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is not in violation of the 8th Amendment because it is not grossly disproportionate to the crimes he committed.
Although the 8th Amendment has been interpreted under differing views, one legal principle that has emerged as “clearly established” is that “a gross disproportionality principle is applicable to sentences for terms of years.” Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 72 (U.S. 2003). Even critics of the 8th Amendment disproportionality principle have agreed that the amendment does contain a “narrow proportionality principle” that applies to non-capital sentences. Harmelin, 501 U.S. at 996 (Kennedy, concurring).
The Supreme Court clearly stated that “proportionality review be guided by objective factors.” Id. at 1001. The "Eighth Amendment judgments should not be, or appear to be, merely the subjective views of individual Justices; judgment should be informed by objective factors to the maximum possible extent." Rummel v. Estelle, 445 U.S. 263, 274 (1980)). (quoting Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584, 592 (1977)). Additionally, the Supreme Court provided that “the most reliable objective signs consist of the legislation that the society has enacted.”...