Indeterminate Life Sentence V. Ewing's 3 Strikes

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Ewing had been convicted of both burglary and robbery approximately seven years before the crime that gave rise to this appeal. When he stole the golf clubs, he was still on parole following his release from prison related to those two felony convictions. Following his conviction in this case, the trial judge declined to exercise discretion and convict Ewing of a misdemeanor only, as he was allowed but not required to do under California law. After determining that Ewing should be punished for a felony offense, the trial judge applied California’s “three strikes" law, where a criminal defendant must be sentenced indeterminate life sentence, which in this case was twenty-five years to life. Ewing claimed that the sentence was disproportionate

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