The debate over the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment dates back to the Founding Fathers, and recent court decisions have confirmed the practice as constitutional, but with limitations.
Currently browsing: Eighth Amendment
In May 2014, National Constitution Center constitutional literacy adviser Lyle Denniston looked at the Supreme Court’s history with rulings about how states conduct executions of prisoners. In light of Wednesday’s botched execution in Arizona, we are re-publishing Lyle’s Constitution Check analysis.
Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s adviser on constitutional literacy, explains how the U.S. Sentencing Commission is helping in two ways to serve the goal of the Eighth Amendment by barring “cruel and unusual punishment.”
A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday settled a capital punishment case that has been in the legal system since 1978, finding Florida’s use of IQ tests as final evidence to determine death penalty eligibility is unconstitutional.
Lyle Denniston says this week’s botched execution in Oklahoma raises some constitutional issues, but the Supreme Court has long been reluctant to second-guess the choices that states have made.