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Case Brief Stanford V. Kentucky

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I. Style of the case: Stanford v. Kentucky 492 U.S. 361, 109 S. Ct. 2969, 106 L. Ed. 2d 306 (1989).

II. Statement of Facts: Kevin Stanford committed the murder of Barbel Poore in Jefferson County, Kentucky on January 7, 1981, when he was approximately 17 years and 4 months of age. Stanford and his accomplice repeatedly raped and sodomized Poore during and after their commission of a robbery at a gas station, where Stanford shot her pointblank in the face and then the back of her head. A Kentucky juvenile court conducted hearings to determine whether he should be transferred for trial as an adult under Ky. Rev. Stat Ann. § 208.170. That statute provided that juvenile court jurisdiction could be waived and an offender tried as an adult if he was either charged with a Class A felony or capital crime, or was over 16 years of age and charged with a felony. The juvenile court found certification for trial as an adult to be in the best interest of petitioner and the community. Stanford was convicted of murder, first-degree sodomy, first-degree robbery and receiving stolen property, and was sentenced to death.

III. Procedural History: This case was first tried in a Kentucky juvenile court and Stanford was convicted of murder, first-degree sodomy, first-degree robbery and receiving stolen property, and was sentenced to death. The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence.

IV. Issues in the case: These two consolidated cases require us to decide whether the imposition of capital punishment on an individual for a crime committed at 16 or 17 years of age constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.

V. Holdings: This case was first tried in a Kentucky juvenile court and Stanford was convicted of murder, first-degree sodomy, first-degree robbery and receiving stolen property, and was sentenced to death. The Kentucky Supreme Court...

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