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TOPIC: Cases involving sexual abuse of children pose a special problem for a proportionality analysis under the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual
Punishment Clause. Such crimes inflict the immediate damage of the criminal conduct, but also the likelihood of lifetime emotional injury. On the other hand,
a crime of “offensive touching” a child is not the same as rape or murder of that child. In Hanf v. State, 182 S0. 2d 704 (Fla. App. 2015) the defendant was
sentenced to life in prison for lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12 years of age. (Florida has eliminated parole for most crimes.) The criminal
conduct was “unwanted touching” of the child’s breast. The appeals court affirmed the sentence, holding that it was not “grossly disproportionate” to the
crime. What are the relevant facts to consider when making such a determination? Is the dissent correct?