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Question 1

Chris is convicted of illegal hacking. He is sentenced to 25 hours of community service and 15 lashes of the whip. Is this cruel and unusual punishment?

Question 2

Chris' brother, Jim, is convicted of computer hacking the following year. Hacking has become a common crime among minors, and the threat of spending some time in juvenile detention centers does not seem to work as a deterrent. The legislature passes a law granting judges broad discretion in sentencing minors convicted of hacking, hoping that this will reduce the costs of hacking which are traditionally passed on to computer consumers.. At sentencing, Judge O. D. Nater orders Jimmy to stand outside the computer store in his local mall for 2 weekends holding a sign which says "I love my computer more than I love you." The sign also had a graphic illustration implying that Jimmy was engaged in a sexual act with a computer. Will the sentence withstand Eighth Amendment scrutiny?

Question 3

The state of Arklahoma passes a law stating that "any person found guilty of contracting HIV/AIDS shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 and by service to the community of not more than 100 hours." Judges, of course, have the discretion to impose a far smaller fine and far fewer hours of community service. Evaluate the following statement: This statute violates the Eighth Amendment guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

Question 4

Eddie is convicted of bilking unsuspecting elderly folks out of thousands of dollars by running several different cons. He is sentenced to serve 50 hours of community service in a local retirement home. Eddie objects, offering to pay a fine or do time, arguing that he can't stand the smell of mothballs. Nonetheless, the judge imposes his original sentence. Does Eddie have a Constitutional claim available?