Feb 8

Issue: Eighth Amendment RSS

Eighth Amendment: Excess Bail or Fines, Cruel and Unusual Punishment



Posted 2 months, 11 days ago.

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As part of the National Constitution Center’s 27 Amendments (In 27 Days) project, each day we will look at a constitutional amendment. Through partnerships with leading scholars and universities, government agencies, media outlets, and more, the National Constitution Center will profile one amendment each day throughout the month of February.

Old_SparkyFull Text of the Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Synopsis:

Neither bail nor punishment for a crime are to be unreasonably severe. The “cruel and unusual punishments” clause has been the basis for challenges to the death penalty. Source:  U.S. Senate

Resources:

1. The Library of Congress Constitution Annotated. Contains a detailed history of the amendment, along with past and recent court cases. Here is a link to the section on the Eighth Amendment. Here are explanations from the LOC that are in an online-friendly format from FindLaw:

2. Cornell Legal Information Institute. Includes information from Wex, a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.

3. An extensive list of Supreme Court cases involving capital punishment is available at the Oyez Project at: http://www.oyez.org/issues/criminal_procedure/cruel_and_unusual_punishment

Learn more about this project at the Constitution Center’s website at: constitutioncenter.org/experience/programs-initiatives/27-amendments-in-27-days/

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