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In 1987 Douglas Deville was convicted in a state court for felonious possession of cocaine. He received probation for that offense. Three years later, Deville was found guilty of another drug-related felony in the same state. For that offense, he served five years in state prison. Three months after being released from prison, Deville was arrested for possession of one hundred grams of cocaine base and four hundred grams of marijuana. This time the case was prosecuted in federal court, where Deville was convicted of felony possession with intent to distribute. Because this was his third drug-related felony, Deville was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole under 21 U.S.C.A. § 841(b)(1)(A). On appeal, Deville claims that this sentence is “utterly disproportionate to his offense” and that, accordingly, it constitutes a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause.

Read the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in the case Solem v. Helm 463 U.S. 277 (1983). https://case-law.vlex.com/vid/463-u-s-277-604909838 Based on the outcome of this case you will write a two page analysis where you discuss:

  • Discuss whether Deville has a case or not?
  • Discuss whether Deville is likely to prevail?
  • In your opinion, is Deville’s sentence fair and just?
  • Is his sentence constitutional?


Your complete response should be two pages in length. Be sure to cite all your references and format them according to Bluebook Standards. For writing assistance, consider using Grammarly or submitting your written assignment to the Writing Lab prior to submitting your assignment.

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