A state recidivist statute made it a felony punishable by life imprisonment

| April 14, 2018

A state recidivist statute made it a felony punishable by life imprisonment without parole to be convicted for the sixth time of any form of criminal theft involving goods or money in excess of $500. A man’s record showed five prior convictions for different forms of theft, each one for property or cash in excess of $500 but usually not in excess of $1,000. On the sixth conviction for a similar violation, he was sentenced to life without parole. He challenged the sentence based on the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. He appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Is the Supreme Court likely to invalidate the sentence on these facts?

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