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Eighth Amendment

Jul 7, 2014

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Children need shields from adult courts

In the past decade, there have been a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment,” as it applies to juvenile defendants.

Dec 23, 2013

Justices: Court-ordered psych evidence doesn’t violate 5th Amendment

Defendants who offer a diminished capacity defense cannot seek to exclude rebuttal evidence from court-ordered mental evaluations on Fifth Amendment grounds, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kansas v. Cheever.

Dec 4, 2013

Court: Reduced crack sentences not retroactive

A 2010 law designed to eliminate harsher sentences for black offenders convicted of crack cocaine crimes should not apply retroactively, a federal appeals court ruled in a deeply divided decision that several dissenting judges wrote amounts to furthering racial discrimination.

Aug 20, 2013

ON THE DEFENSIVE: The dangerous reach of civil forfeiture laws

Law enforcement officers for years have taken advantage of overly broad civil forfeiture laws.

Oct 29, 2012

7th Circuit says life sentence for crack dealer doesn’t violate Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment does not preclude a mandatory life sentence for dealers who possess a smaller quantity of crack cocaine than the quantity of powder cocaine necessary to trigger a similar sentence, the 7th Circuit has ruled.

Oct 19, 2012

Civil Rights — Eighth Amendment — qualified immunity

11-3418 Miller v. Harbaugh

Jul 24, 2012

Civil Rights — Eighth Amendment — deliberate indifference

12-1806 Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

Jun 26, 2012

US Supreme Court rules on juvenile life terms, immigration law

In two widely anticipated rulings, the Supreme Court ruled the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bars juvenile homicide offenders from being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Nov 8, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of life terms for minors

A year after holding that sentencing a juvenile to life without parole in non-murder cases violates the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether imposing such a sentence on a juvenile for capital murder is unconstitutional.

Nov 3, 2011

High court considers ‘Bivens’ claims against private prison

At oral arguments on Tuesday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical of a federal prisoner’s claim that he should be allowed to bring a Bivens action against private contractors who run the prison where he was housed.

Sep 12, 2011

Civil Rights – Eighth Amendment – medical care

09-3280 Arnett v. Webster


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