Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

What was the Robinson vs. California Supreme Court case about?

Please go into great detail.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    It's not clear what case you are referring to. If you have a citation, that would help. I know of no case in which anyone named Robinson sued the California Supreme Court.

    There is a case called Robinson v. State of California, 370 U.S. 662 (1962). In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that confinement for being addicted to a controlled substance violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

    The back story is this: Lawrence Robinson was arrested when a police officer noticed he had "needle tracks" on his arm; the cop thought that meant Robinson was a heroin addict. At the time, it was against the law to 'be addicted to narcotics,' and Robinson was convicted and jailed for 90 days.

    The Supreme Court looked at this and said that substance addiction is the functional equivalent of a disease. It would obviously be cruel to send someone to jail for having a cold or the flu. So too, it is cruel to send someone to jail because they are addicted to a narcotic. There is no actus reus in "being addicted" to something -- that is a medical condition.

    Lawrence Robinson never got to hear his name vindicated in the Supreme Court. He had died nearly a year beforehand -- ironically, of a heroin overdose. None of the lawyers involved in the case knew this until months after the Court's decision was handed down and the case sent back to the California courts for further handling. But the ruling still stands.

    Note that the ruling does not decriminalize the use of a narcotic. That is still potentially illegal, because there is an actus reus (ingesting the substance) whereas "being addicted" is something that one is whether one uses the substance or not. Nor does the ruling invalidate laws criminalizing conduct while under the influence of an intoxicant, such as a law prohibiting drunk and disorderly behavior. Again, in such a law there is an actual action of the defendant being punished rather than a mere state of existence.

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  • 3 years ago

    Robinson V California

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What was the Robinson vs. California Supreme Court case about?

    Please go into great detail.

    Source(s): robinson california supreme court case about: https://shortly.im/ljQQF
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  • Laura
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I think the issue wasn't considered in the CA Constitution when enacted (since there were marital restriction laws at the time), but I can't see myself voting for a referendum to change the constitution to overturn it, either, and I'm considered fairly conservative. I personally don't see why government should be involved in the issue of what adult should marry what adult, to be honest. (However, while I can't see California overturning the ruling with a referendum, I CAN see California recalling the judge for general 'activism' as opposed to strict construction.)

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  • 1 decade ago
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