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NCJ Number: 49988 Find in a Library
Title: EIGHTH AMENDMENT, RAPE, AND SEXUAL BATTERY - A STUDY IN METHODS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
Journal: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW REVIEW  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:690-708
Author(s): S P JOSEPH
Corporate Author: University of Miami Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: University of Miami Law Review
Coral Gables, FL 33124
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN EIGHTH AMENDMENT TEST REGARDING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PUNISHMENT WHICH MAY BE OUT OF PROPORTION WITH THE SEVERITY OF A CRIME IS DISCUSSED AND APPLIED TO THE CRIME OF SEXUAL BATTERY IN FLORIDA.
Abstract: IN 1977, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULED THAT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS GROSSLY DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE CRIME OF RAPE OF AN ADULT FEMALE AS DEFINED BY GEORGIA STATUTES AND THEREFORE, FORBIDDEN BY THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT AS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT. STANDARDS OF REVIEW USED BY MEMBERS OF THE COURT TO REDUCE THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT'S MORALISTIC TERM 'CRUEL' TO A JUDICIALLY MANAGEABLE FORMULA HAVE VARIED. THE PLURALITY OPINION IS PROBLEMATICAL REGARDING SEVERAL ASPECTS OF THE EMERGING TEST OF PROPORTIONALITY WHICH DETERMINES WHETHER PUNISHMENT IS CONSTITUTIONAL WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT. THE U.S. SUPREME COURT OUTLINES ITS EIGHTH AMENDMENT TEST FOR EXCESSIVE PUNISHMENT AS FOLLOWS: PUNISHMENT IS EXCESSIVE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL IF IT MAKES NO MEASURABLE CONTRIBUTION TO ACCEPTABLE GOALS OF PUNISHMENT OR IS GROSSLY OUT OF PROPORTION TO THE SEVERITY OF A CRIME. IN ANALYZING WHETHER PUNISHMENT IS OUT OF PROPORTION TO THE SEVERITY OF A CRIME, THE COURT MEASURES RAPE AGAINST MURDER, UTILIZING CAPITAL SENTENCING STATUTES FOR MURDER AS APPROVED STANDARDS OF PROPORTIONALITY. FLORIDA'S SEXUAL BATTERY STATUTE MAY DEFINE A CRIME SUFFICIENTLY MORE HEINOUS THAN ORDINARY RAPE SUCH THAT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT MAY CONSTITUTIONALLY BE IMPOSED UPON OFFENDERS CONVICTED OF RAPE UNDER AGGRAVATED CIRCUMSTANCES. THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA HAS REVIEWED CASES IN WHICH TWO OF EIGHT ENUMERATED AGGRAVATING FACTORS WERE PRESENT AND THE COURT HELD THAT THOSE FACTORS (THE KNOWING CREATION OF A GREAT RISK OF DEATH AND THE COMMISSION OF AN ESPECIALLY CRUEL SEXUAL BATTERY) COULD DEFINE A SEXUAL ASSAULT CONSTITUTIONALLY PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. JUDICIAL DECISIONS ARE FOOTNOTED. (DCP)
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Florida; Judicial decisions; Rape; Sexual assault; State supreme courts
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49988

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