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in a 5-4 ruling, the justices upheld a California appeals court decision affirming a 25-years-to-life sentence for a defendant convicted of a felony under California’s “three strikes” law. Ewing v. California, No. 01-6978. The court held that the sentence was not grossly disproportionate and therefore did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. O’Connor’s opinion was joined by Rehnquist, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas. Stevens wrote a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer.

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