The title of this post is the title of this new paper recently posted to SSRN and authored by Meara Maccabee, a student at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. This paper is part of a student paper series supported by OSU’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and here is its abstract:
As inflation pushes the prices of goods higher and higher, the monetary thresholds that separate misdemeanor thefts from felony thefts deflate. This paper argues that deflated felony thresholds provide courts a unique opportunity to wade into what is typically ‘properly within the province of legislatures’: sentence proportionality. Because inflated thresholds are the result of a natural economic event, rather than legislative enactment, courts have more deference to find felony sentences disproportionate when the underlying theft would have constituted a misdemeanor absent inflation.