Absolutely not. At most, the fact your felony conviction is still part of the public record is a what the law terms a "collateral consequence" and it is not actionable on ANY grounds. Since your state has very restrictive laws on expungment (Texas calls it "expunction") of felonies from a person's record, this is not an option for you either. (The feds keep arrest records on the NCIC computer for 90 years.)
Cal. Bar No. 104800
Wis. Bar No. 1020123
Member: U.S.Supreme Court Bar
No, it's not a violation of the eighth amendment. You may not have trouble getting a job, but if you're concerned about it, you could have your record expunged. Then it would only be available to court and law enforcement personnel. A local criminal attorney could help you with that, or you could try it on your own.
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NO. The Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment byt the government. You did not state what your term of incarceration was, so you obviously are not challenging that. You are challenging the fact that you have a criminal record and that some people react negatively to that fact. If your challenge were upheld, there could be no public criminal records maintained. The laws requiring the registration of sex offenders could be challenged the same way. That would not be a good result for society.
At this point ,it is not the government punishing you; it is other people reacting to what you did. The 8th Amendment does not apply to that; only to government action. Or, are other people really reacting at all? It sounds like mostly, this is you worrying about it. It was 20 years ago. You sound genuinely sorry and I am sure that comes across when you are interviewed.
A single, isolated indiscretion many years ago does not make one an "habitual criminal". If the past record is causing current problems, you should consult with an attorney in your state to discuss what might be done. But under no circumstance is the situation you cite a violation of the 8th Amendment.
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