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Court cases and bills in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Supreme Court


Argued April 16, 2008 Decided June 25, 2008

This case decided 5-4 that in criminal cases where the victim was not killed, the death penalty would be considered a cruel and unusual punishment to impose under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

This case involved the aggravated rape of an 8-year-old girl by her stepfather in Louisiana. The petitioner of this Supreme Court case was sentenced to death under Louisiana law, which made the rape of a child under the age of 12 a capital crime (meaning that it was punishable by death). The Supreme Court held that sentence to be unconstitutional.

The 8th Amendment to the Constitution

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Roberts, C. J., and Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined.

U.S. Congress Bills

[CITIZEN'S TIP--You can see the actual text of federal bills by entering the bill number underlined below at the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress website-- ]

H.R.4040 Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] "Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act" To establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children's products and to reauthorize and modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Related Bills: S.2045, S.2663 11/1/2007 Introduced Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 110-314

H.R.4137 Rep. Miller, George [CA-7] "College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007" and "Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act of 2007" To amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes.

Related Bills: H.RES.956, H.RES.1389, H.R.3168, S.1642 11/9/2007 Introduced

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 110-315

H.R.3221 Rep. Pelosi, Nancy [CA-8] "Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008" A bill to provide needed housing reform and for other purposes.

Related Bills: H.RES.615, H.RES.1175, H.RES.1363, H.R.6, H.R.364, H.R.906, H.R.1933, H.R.2304, H.R.2313, H.R.2337, H.R.2389, H.R.2420, H.R.2635, H.R.2701, H.R.2773, H.R.2774, H.R.2776, H.R.2847, H.R.3220, S.2636 7/30/2007 Introduced

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 110-289 as of 7/30/2008

H.R.5749 Rep. McDermott, Jim [WA-7] "Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008" To provide for a program of emergency unemployment compensation.

Related Bills: H.RES.1265, H.R.4934, H.R.5688, S.2544 4/9/2008 Introduced

Latest Major Action: 6/13/2008 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 780 under authority of the order of the Senate of 06/12/2008.

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Publication:The Informed Constituent (Albany, NY)
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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