cover image: In The - Supreme Court of Pennsylvania  No. 3 WAP 2024


In The - Supreme Court of Pennsylvania No. 3 WAP 2024

26 Apr 2024

DEREK LEE Appellant AMICI CURIAE BRIEF OF THE SENTENCING PROJECT, FAIR AND JUST PROSECUTION, A PROJECT OF THE TIDES CENTER, & FAMM By Allowance of Appeal from the Judgment of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania entered June 13, 2023 at No. [...] Because this case concerns the ability of individuals who did not kill, did not intend to kill, and could not foresee a loss of human life, to challenge their sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, it raises questions of fundamental importance to The Sentencing Project. [...] In exercising its own judgment, a court weighs the culpability of the convicted individual against the severity of the crime in question and determines whether the challenged punishment serves legitimate penological goals. [...] Even if that were not the case, it has frequently been observed that the cruel-punishments prohibition of the Pennsylvania Constitution is at least as protective of individuals’ rights as are the provisions of the Eighth Amendment. [...] The felony-murder rule represents one of the very few instances in criminal law where the element of intent is waived: to secure a felony-murder conviction in Pennsylvania, the only criminal intent the Commonwealth needs to prove is that the accused intended to commit the felony during which a death occurred.
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United States of America