skip to Main Content
Name: Ewing v. California
Case #: Jan-78
Opinion Date: 03/05/2003
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Citation: 538 U.S. 11

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].