Thursday, January 31, 2013

United States v. Gementera case brief

United States v. Gementera379 F.3d 596

PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
The Defendant entered into guilty plea to mail theft, a violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1708, and appealed the judgment of the United States District Court (Northern California). The court had sentenced him to two months' incarceration as well as three years' supervised release, with a condition that he spend a day standing outside a post office wearing a signboard stating that he stole mail.

FACTS:
-Defendant pilfered letters from several mailboxes.
-He entered a guilty plea to mail theft and, as a result, was sentenced to two months' incarceration and three years' supervised release.
-One of the supervised release conditions required defendant to stand outside a post office wearing a signboard that stated that he stole mail.
-He appealed, but the court affirmed the lower court's ruling.

HOLDING:
The court held that it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, as forbidden by the 8th Amendment, because it was in lieu of incarceration and did not exceed the bounds of "civilized standards" or other evolving standards of decency that marked the progress of a maturing society.

ANALYSIS:
The eight-hour condition did not violate the Sentencing Reform Act because the record completely established that the district court imposed the condition for the stated and legitimate statutory purpose of rehabilitation and, to a lesser extent, for general deterrence and for the protection of the public. The condition was not a stand-alone condition that was intended solely to humiliate but instead was a comprehensive set of provisions that exposed him to social disapprobation and provided an opportunity for him to repair his relationship with society.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed the lower court's ruling.

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