Botched executions and the 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.

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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.