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the Case

2022-2023 Case problem

This year's hypothetical case features William DeNolf, Jr., who in 2019, at the age of 15, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life with parole only after a minimum of 50 years served. ​The first issue of this case addresses whether the the warrantless use of a drone equipped with optical sensors to help criminalize DeNolf Jr. violated the Fourth Amendment while the second issue analyzes whether the sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole only after the first fifty years for a non-homicide offense violates the Eighth Amendment.

Read the case problem below to learn more about this exciting and complicated case. As you write your arguments, remember you only need to address one issue (fourth OR eighth amendment).

Case problem

Issue one case law

  • Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967)

  • California v. Carney, 471 U.S. 386 (1985)

  • California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (1986)

  • California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988)

  • Florida v. Riley, 488 U.S. 445 (1989) 

  • Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83 (1998) 

  • Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001)

  • Florida v. Jardines, 561 U.S. 1 (2013) 

  • Long Lake Twp. v. Maxon, __ N.W.2d __, 2021 WL 1047366 (Mich. Ct. App. 2021)

Issue two case law

  • Solem v. Helm, 463 U.S. 277 (1983)

  • Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957 (1991)

  • Ewing v. California, 538 U.S. 11 (2003)

  • Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) 

  • Graham v Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) 

  • Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012)

  • Jones v Mississippi, 593 U.S. ___ (2021)

  • People v. Caballero, 55 Cal. 4th 262 (Cal. 2012)

  • State v Sweet, 879 N.W.2d 811 (2016)