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Daily Journal: State High Court Mulls when Prison Becomes Cruel and Unusual

November 04, 2020

O’Melveny counsel Megan Havstad is part of the legal team representing William Palmer II before the California Supreme Court as it considers whether to affirm a 2019 ruling from the 1st District Court of Appeal and release Palmer indefinitely, this article reported.

In challenging the petition, the state attorney general argued that the appellate court had erred in its ruling by misapplying a test established by the California Supreme Court to identify cruel and unusual punishments.

Daily Journal’s coverage of the proceedings notes that Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan asked Havstad whether she could identify the exact point at which Palmer’s confinement became cruel and unusual punishment. Havstad argued that making such a determination would be difficult because the Legislature had imposed an indeterminate life sentence, and that furthermore, that was not the question the high court or lower courts should be considering.

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.