Ewing v. California case took place at the very beginning of the 21st century on March 12. Gary Ewing was already arrested several times for burglaries and robbery. The last time he stole three golf clubs that worth $1197. The victim, a Los Angeles-area golf course, was represented by California. The man was on parole at that time, so he had to be sentenced at least for 25 years according to three strikes law.
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He was convinced of felony grand theft but asked to reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor while being behind bars. However, this request was declined. In the framework of his appeal, the offender stated that his punishment was too severe compared to the crime. In this way, Ewing wanted to prove that the decision made by the court violated the Eighth Amendment and had to be altered because it was cruel. Still, the three strikes law supported the state, and the appeal was rejected. When the California Supreme Court was approached, it refused to consider the case at all.
In this particular case, the court made a decision on the basis of the three strikes law. They are typically used in those cases when offenders are sentences over and over. Governmental bodies claim that such law has a legitimate goal that approves their existence. It is believed that being punished for a period of time between 25 years and the whole life when committing a new crime, individuals are deprived of a capacity to repeat their offenders.
Such belief is universal, which means that there is no separation between the crimes regardless of their severity. Basically, the government wanted to ensure the safety of the representatives of the general public with this law. In this way, there was a legitimate support of such an approach and proof that it did not violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In this way, this law ignored the possibility of disproportionality between a sentence and severity of the crime.
In fact, the way the three strikes law was used in the framework of the discussed case was appropriate. Ewing was already sentenced for four crimes of the same nature and was engaged in another one. It was expected that he did not stop on the basis of this information, so the law fitted this case.
All in all, the man was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and his appeals did not provide him with the opportunity to alter the situation. Personally, I agree with the court’s decision and support it. Taking into consideration the offender’s long history of legal crimes, it was right to justify this sentence. It could be possible to speak about the violation of the Eighth Amendment if there was a huge gap between the punishment the crime, but it was not observed.
Even though the primacy of the legislature and a range of various punishments is to be considered when making every decision about a case, no strict proportionality between crime and sentence is to be obligatory observed. The fact is that only the cruelest and extreme sentences are not allowed to be applied due to disproportionate, and it was not like that. What is more, due to the three strikes laws, the government is willing to reduce crimes, isolate offenders, and protect the general population.
Moreover, it is applied only when other traditional forms of penalties turned out to be ineffective. The Constitution also provides the state and its representatives to resort to their legislatures in a case of arguable situations. Thus, on the basis of the desire to reduce recidivism, California made a decision that aligned with the committed crime.