The Supreme Court’s move to rule on using lethal injections for capital punishment is the latest legal debate in a controversy that goes back to the Founding Fathers. But one Eighth Amendment issue rarely defined by the Court is the general method of executions.
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Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee dropped a bombshell on American politics with the release of a 500-page report detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s detainment and interrogation of terrorism suspects in the years after 9/11.
Lyle Denniston, the constitutional literacy adviser for the National Constitution Center, looks at the Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive fines, and the Justice Department’s threats to fine the Yahoo! web service.
Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s adviser on constitutional literacy, looks at the revival of public shaming as a punishment, and why a Pennsylvania court nullified such a sentence for a former justice.
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.