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Punishment Must Be Appropriate To The Crime


An American officer in the government of the Philippines (then a U.S. territory) is found guilty of falsifying an official document and is sentenced to fifteen years in prison, hard labor, lifetime surveillance, and the loss of his civil rights. In Weems v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court finds that this sentence amounts to “cruel and unusual” punishment because its length and harshness are out of proportion to the crime committed.