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Bult v. Leapley
South Dakota Supreme Court
507 N.W.2d 325 (1993)
Justin Lloyd Bult (defendant), at the age of 18, forcibly kidnapped a five-year-old girl and attempted to rape her. Bult was convicted of kidnapping and sexual contact with a child under 15. A presentencing report revealed that Bult had a brief juvenile record that resulted in probation and a 90-day diversion program. Although Bult suffered from learning disabilities and self-image problems, counseling proved promising for him. Bult was sentenced to the maximum sentences for his crimes: life imprisonment without parole for the kidnapping conviction and 10 years for the sexual-contact conviction. Bult filed a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Miller, C.J.)
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