State v. Hoyle, No. 18–0141 (W.Va. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of failing to comply with West Virginia’s sex offense registration scheme by failing to provide authorities with the correct telephone number. He was arrested and convicted after a jury trial, where he was sentenced to 10-25 years for the failure to register offense. Because it was his second failure to register offense, his sentence was enhanced to life when his predicate sex offense was taken into account. Appellant sought review, arguing inter alia that the relevant statute was unconstitutionally vague, and that the imposed sentences violated the 8th Amendment.
Holding: West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals reversed in part. Appellant’s vagueness and other challenges were rejected. Appellant’s argument that the 10-25 year sentence for failure to update was unconstitutional was also rejected, however the Court agreed that a life sentence violated the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution.