Solem v. Helm –
recidivist statute, so sentenced to life for $100 bad check
Problem of Proportionality … violation of 8A.
gravity of offense and harshness of penalty
look at other crimes in jurisdiction
look at other crimes nationwide
Look at D’s most recent conviction … don’t look at priors.
Hard to get past #1 because courts look deferentially at state penalties
Some successful 8A claims re marijuana
Effect of case:  Texas changed statute to make life imprisonment discretionary after 3rd conviction; but others like CA have stuck to 3 strikes = life