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SCOTUS Mapper Library: 8th Amend

8th Amendment Limits on Sentencing - Miller (2012) to Enmund (1982)

This network contains the key cases stemming from Miller v. Alabama. Justice Kagan’s majority opinion in Miller deliberately brought together “two strands of precedent reflecting our concern with proportionate punishment.” The first strand concerns categorical bans on sentencing practices based on mismatches between the culpability of a class of offenders and the severity of the punishment. The second strand concerns mandatory application of the death penalty and the importance of “individualized sentencing for defendants facing the most serious penalties.” The two strands came together in Miller to “lead to the conclusion that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles violate the Eighth Amendment.”

8th amendment and Federal Habeas: Carr (2016) to Coleman (1991)

Method of Execution: Glossip (2015) to Helling (1993)

Death Penalty Restrictions: Brumfield (2015) to Ford (1986)

Death Penalty: Hall (2014) to Trop (1958)

This map shows the 3-degree citation network connecting 2014's Hall v. Florida -- concerning the constitutionality of executing the mentally disabled -- to 1958's Trop v. Dulles, which first incorporated the 8th Amendment against the states. To exclude irrelevant cases in the network, only those cases containing the text "Eighth Amendment" are displayed.

To open a full-sized version of this map -- complete with links to underlying opinions, please click here.

Death Penalty: Hall (2014) to Trop(1958)

This map shows the Speath genealogy based on 3-degree citation network in the map above. This presents a clean view of the doctrine and suggests the existence of a dialectic between competing schools. There are 24 cases in this network, with a very high average degree of dissent -- .85.

To open a full-sized version of this map -- complete with links to the underlying opinion text -- please click here.

Three Strikes and Excessive Sentences: Ewing (2003) to Rummel (1980)

This map shows the evolution of the Court's 8th Amendment jurisprudence in a series of challenges to long sentences. For a detailed description of this map and its implications for the fight against mass incarceration, please see this blog post.

Maps on this Page

Doctrinal Area Recent Case Older Case
Excessive Sentences   Miller (2012) Enmund (1982)
Habeas Intersection   Carr (2016) Coleman (1991)
Method of Execution Glossip (2015) Helling (1993)
Death Penalty  Brumfield (2015) Ford (1986)
Death Penalty Hall (2014) Trop (1958)
Excessive Sentences Ewing (2003) Rummel (1980)