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Showing posts from May, 2010

Sentencing juvenile offender to life in prison without parole for nonhomicide crime violated the Cruel & Unusual Punishments Clause

Petitioner Graham was sixteen when he committed armed burglary and another crime. As a result of a plea agreement, the trial court placed Graham on probation. Subsequently, the court found that Graham had violated the terms of his probation and revoked his probation, sentencing him to life in prison. The state of Florida does not offer the possibility of release in life cases except executive clemency. Graham challenged his sentence under the Eight Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. The State First District Court of appeal affirmed his sentence.

The Eighth Amendment forbids punishments that are excessive when compared to the crime. In addition, the Courts must evaluate circumstances and offender’s characteristics such as age and intellectual functioning. Courts also evaluate if juvenile offenders have a sufficient maturity and depravity. Moreover, “punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense” Weens v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 367.

There a…

Antitrust Update: The Proposed Revisions to the Horizontal Merger Guidelines

In April 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (collectively, “the Agencies”) released for public comment substantial proposed revisions to the Horizontal Merger Guidelines. These Guidelines set forth how the federal antitrust agencies evaluate the likely competitive impact of mergers and whether those mergers comply with U.S. antitrust law.

The Horizontal Merger Guidelines were created in 1992 by the Agencies and were then revised in 1997 The proposed revisions are stated as intending to more accurately reflect how the FTC and DOJ currently conduct merger reviews. “Eighteen years have passed since the Horizontal Merger Guidelines were revised. During that time the agencies’ approach has evolved significantly, and the Guidelines should reflect that,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “The proposed Guidelines put out for comment today reflect the current state of merger analysis at the FTC and DOJ, and will help m…