Ewing V. California

Ewing v. California, 538 U.S. 11 (2003), is one of two cases upholding a sentence imposed under California's three strikes law against a challenge that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. As in its prior decision in Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957 (1991), the United States Supreme Court could not agree on the precise reasoning for upholding the sentence. Nevertheless, with the decision in Ewing and the companion case Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63 (2003), the Court effectively foreclosed criminal defendants from arguing that their noncapital sentences were disproportional to the crime they had committed.

Ewing was represented in the Court by Quin Denvir. The Attorney General of California argued for the State of California. Michael Chertoff argued on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae.

Read more about Ewing V. California:  Facts, Plurality Decision, Dissents

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