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Defendant Contends Cruel and Unusual Punishment in Sentencing


The defendant of this case is Irone Bradford. The plaintiff in the case is the People of the State of New York. The case is being heard in the Trial term of the Supreme Court located in New York County. Judge Jack Rosenburg is overseeing the case.

The defendant has pled guilty to the crime of second degree robbery and is now awaiting his sentence. The defendant is making an attack on the constitutionality of section 60.05 of the Penal Law.

Case Arguments and Decisions

The defendant states that secion 60.05 of the Penal Law is unconstitutional as it contradicts the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution that offers equal protection and the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The defendant states that by providing different C felonies with different levels of severity, his Fourteenth Amendment rights are being infringed upon. Accordingly, the defendant believes that all Class C felonies should have the same range of punishment.

It should be noted that anyone that is questioning the constitutionality of a statute will have to prove without a doubt that there is validity among the legislative enactments. It is also presumed that the legislation has been investigated for and found facts that support the legality of the issues at hand.

In addition, the defendant of this case will face the burden of demonstrating that discrimination was intentional in the matter.

The Supreme Court of the United States has been confronted with these issues and stated that a statutory discrimination case will not be set aside if there are any facts that will reasonably justify the case. The Fourteenth Amendment covers a broad range of discretion for enacting laws.

The defendant is arguing that in his case he is being mistreated as there are different levels of severity in place in regard to a Class C felony. However, there is a lot of room for judgment according to the 14th Amendment. There is not rational classification system provided by the amendment. The only exceptions are when an individual is being discriminated against based on sex, race, alienage, status of birth, or national origin.

When it comes to the class C felonies there is not a clear cut classification system for these crimes. For this reason, the original action against the defendant will be upheld unless the defendant proves without a doubt that the discrimination against him was unrelated to the legitimate government interest, is unreasonable, or is patently arbitrary.

In regard to the case that his punishment is in violation of his 8th amendment rights, the defendant states that his crime is being singled out for special punitive treatment, which makes this a cruel and unusual punishment for his particular case.

The court must carefully review these allegations that have been made by the defendant. When considering the argument of cruel and unusual punishment, not sentencing a Class C felon with probation is not deemed to be cruel and unusual. There are no constitutional rights that call for probation in specific cases.

For these reasons, the court finds in favor of the People. The defendant’s motions have been denied in full.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free consultations for any one in need of legal advice, whether you have been charged with a sex crimes, drug possession or grand larceny. You may contact one of our New York City offices to set up an appointment at any time. Our team will be happy to discuss your legal issues with you and help you determine the best course of action for your particular case.

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