F:On parole from a 9 year prison term, Ewing stole the golf clubs. In fact, Ewing had been convicted previously of 4 serious felonies. Ewing was convicted of the felony grand theft of personal property in excess of $400.
I:1. Whether the California law (three strikes and you’re out law) violated the Eighth Amendment (Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted)
2. whether P/Petitioner’s stealing golf clubs should remain a felony, or reduce to a misdemeanor 3. whether Ewing’s previous felony can be dismissed?
R:1. California law is not violating the Eighth Amendment in terms of proportionality
2. should remain a felony
3. Ewing’s previous felony should stand
In Ewing, one can infer from this that the Eighth Amendment requires that the sentence be proportionate to the crime, but how that is applied in a particular case is quite hard to gauge.
3 strikes and you’re out law – when a D is convicted of a felony, and has previously been convicted of a serious or violent felony, then the
sentenced imposed under the 3 strikes law shall include a 5 year enhancement.