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E ven as Attorney General Bill Lockyer vows to appeal a 9th U.S. Circuit decision striking down a Three Strikes sentence as cruel and unusual, circuit judges have scheduled a pair of cases that may extend the ruling to other cases.

The decision earlier this month in Andrade v. California, 01 C.D.O.S. 9423, is the tip of an Eighth Amendment iceberg. “Andrade was essentially a lead case,” 9th Circuit staff attorney Susan Gelmis said.

Several other challenges to the state’s Three Strikes law have been filed pro se by California inmates. Some were assigned to panels but stayed pending Andrade’s outcome. Because it was a fact-specific case, more cases would help establish guidelines for determining when sentences violate the Constitution.

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