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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Chemerinsky
Solem v. Helm
Citation:463 U.S. 277 (1983)
Helm (Respondent) pleaded guilty to six nonviolent felonies in South Dakota Circuit Court. The felonies included third-degree burglary, obtaining money under false pretenses, and uttering a “no account” check. The sentencing range for these charges under South Dakota law ranged from five years to life in prison. The judge sentenced him to life imprisonment. The State Court of Appeals reversed the sentence, finding that it was “grossly disproportionate to the nature of the offense.”
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