A Criminal Enterprise

Proportionality Review Cert Petition Spotlighted

Posted in Cases, News by Bidish J. Sarma on September 23, 2009

Earlier today, SCOTUSblog placed our cert petition in Holmes v. Louisiana on the “Petitions to Watch” list here.

The Question Presented in the petition is:

Louisiana’s capital punishment scheme relies upon appellate review to ensure that death sentences are not disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases. In assessing whether Petitioner’s sentence was excessive, the Louisiana Supreme Court did not examine similar first-degree murder cases that resulted in a life sentence, consider Petitioner’s extensive mitigating circumstances, or assess her codefendant’s relative culpability. The question presented is whether the operation of Louisiana’s capital punishment scheme violates the Eighth Amendment’s guarantee against arbitrariness in capital sentencing.

In the coming week, our blog will explore some of the issues raised by deficient proportionality reviews being conducted by state supreme courts all across the country.

Please find the full cert petition below. All of the helpful amici briefs can be found at the SCOTUSblog link above and here.

View this document on Scribd

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