Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Patsalis v. Shinn (9th Cir. - Sept. 6, 2022)

Atdom Patsalis was a 21-year old who took some stuff; basically, he went into people's garages, cars and sheds (and, on occasion, homes) when they weren't there and grabbed whatever could find. ("His offenses were non-violent and . . . he stole random items (e.g., a drill, a flashlight, a telescope) with a total value of roughly $5,000."). This was basically his modus operandi; when he was an even younger kid, he had been convicted of criminal trespass and third degree burglary.

So what sentence do you give this 21-year old for this latest neighborhood stealing spree?

Answer: Arizona sentences him to . . . 292 years in prison.

Judge Forrest authors the majority opinion and holds that this sentence is "harsh but reasonable." Judge Christen dissents, and says that it's unconstitutionally disproportionate.

The Supreme Court won't grant certiorari, so this 21-year old gets to spend the rest of his life in prison.