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Name: U.S. v. Meiners
Case #: 06-30389
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/21/2007

In determining whether a sentence violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, the sentence is compared with the crime and if there is an inference of gross disproportionality, the sentence is then compared to other sentences for analogous crimes. (Harmelin v. Michigan (1991) 501 U.S. 957.) With this standard, the 15-year sentence imposed for a conviction for advertisement of child pornography did not meet the threshold determination of gross proportionality. The crime is a significant one because it causes grave harm to society and the 15-year term was far less than 40 years imposed for possession and distribution of marijuana (Hutto v. Davis (1982) 454 U.S. 370), or life without parole for possession of 672 grams of cocaine (Harmelin, supra), both sentences found not to violate the Eighth Amendment.