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Name: Ewing v. California
Case #: Jan-78
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 03/05/2003
Subsequent History: Cross-cites: 123 S.Ct. 1179; 155 L.Ed.2d 108

California’s Three Strikes Law does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. A 25-year-to-life term in a noncapital case is subject to a narrow proportionality principle. The Eighth Amendment does not prevent California from deterring and incapacitating repeat offenders who like defendant have long and serious records. The statute is a rational legislative judgment. [Editor’s note: Only 3 justices agreed on this theory; Justices Thomas and Scalia rejected a proportionality principle in noncapital cases].