Christine Kelly Doty
Proportionality is a general principle in law which covers several special concepts. The concept of proportionality is used as a criterion of fairness and justice in statutory interpretation processes, especially in constitutional law, as a logical method intended to assist in discerning the correct balance between the restriction imposed by a corrective measure and the severity of the nature of the prohibited act. Within municipal law it is used to convey the idea that the punishment of an offender should fit the crime. Juveniles who are under the age of 18 cannot be given the death penalty. In Roper v. Simmons in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the cruel and unusual punishment clause prohibited a state from executing a juvenile who was under the age of 18 when the capital crime was committed. Insane at the time of execution. Ford v. Wainright, 1986, the court held that the eighth amendment prohibits the execution of a prisoner who is insane at the time of execution. Mental Retardation. Atkins v. Virginia, U.S. 2002, and the court held that the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the eighth amendment prohibited imposition of the death penalty on defendants with mental retardation. In 2004, the court held in Tennard v. Dretke evidence of mental retardation is inherently mitigating in a capital case, whether or not the defendant has shown a nexus between his mental capacity and the crime committed. Blakely v. Washington, 2004, applied the reasoning of apprend, which involved specific statutory language the permitted a judge to find facts that increased the maximum sentence for a crime, to state sentencing systems. Blakely pled guilty to second degree kidnapping and use of firearm. After three days of hearing before the trial judge, the defendant was sentenced to a prison term more than three years longer than the maximum sentence for the crime charged, based on the trial judge’s finding that...