In United States v. McCain, the Fourth Circuit held that sentencing a seventeen-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In United States v. Medley, the Fourth Circuit vacated a defendant’s conviction for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, after finding that the failure to include the knowledge-of-felon-status element in the defendant’s indictment was a plain error affecting the defendant’s substantial rights.
In United States v. Curry, the Fourth Circuit held that the exigent circumstances doctrine did not justify the suspicionless stop of the defendant. The exigent circumstances doctrine, the majority opinion noted, typically involves emergencies justifying a warrantless search of a home, not an investigatory stop of a person.