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2nd Semester Constitutional History Notes 9.docx

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Course Code
LAWS 2180
Alan Rogers

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Weems v. United States (1910) • Weems is skimming off the top a little of money • Took place in the Philippines • 15 years in prison with hard labor, bread and water diet, and a ball tied to his ankles, then deprived of citizenship if he makes it through his punishment. • He appeals for “Cruel and Unusual Punishment” • Precedent: Wilkerson v. Utah: Utah offered (1852) choices to people as to how they would be killed. Proportionality: Caesar Beccaraia: argument against capital punishment in the 18 century. Introduced the notion of Proportionality: sentence should accord with the severity of the crime. Imprisonment is more proportional and it could lead to rehabilitation of the convict. JohnAdams cited Beccaraia in the Boston Massacre trials. • Precedent: Kemmler: cruel punishments when they include “torture or a lingering death, something inhumane or barbaric” electricity is ok. • Three simple words: “Time Works Changes”: execution may not have been thought of as th cruel in the 18 century but we now see that as cruel. Open up the possibility of interpretation of the cruel and unusual punishment for each court to come. “Not only can be on what has been but on what may be”: Francis v. Resweber (1947) • Andrew Thomas (white man): body is found shot and his wallet taken. • Francis is a part time employee of Thomas and he is missing, found in possessi
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