This article will begin with a review of several United States Supreme Court cases, from the emanation of the doctrine in Weems v. United States' to the widely misread and misunderstood case of Harmelin v. Michigan. The article then examines the impact of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines on the federal circuit courts as they relate to claims of disproportionality in prison sentences.' Next, the article explores some of the various state court opinions that have considered the issue of proportionality under federal constitutional guidelines and their own state constitutions. Finally, the article proposes an analytical structure to determine whether a sentence is disproportionate in an individual case.
Kathi A. Drew & R. K. Weaver,
Disproportionate or Excessive Punishments: Is There a Method for Successful Constitutional Challenges?,
Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/TWLR.V2.I1.1