Eighth Amendment The United States Bill of Rights is an important document of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments were ratified on the fifteenth of December in 1971 and guarantee the citizens of the United States many personal freedoms and also ensures that the government’s control and power is limited so that some power is given to the public. The ten amendments of the Bill of Rights include: freedom of speech, press, religion and petition, the right to keep and bear arms, conditions for quarters of soldiers, the right of search and seizure regulated, provisions concerning prosecution, right to a speedy trial, witnesses, the right to a trial by jury, excessive bail and cruel punishment, rule of construction of Constitution, and the rights of the states under Constitution. All of the amendments are significant in their own way but the amendment I am going to focus on is the eighth amendment. The eighth amendment is pertinent because it guarantees the right to be exempt from excessive fines, bail and cruel and unusual punishments. The eighth amendment originates from the British Magna Carta of 1215, a document that prohibits rulers from violating the rights of the people and the English Bill of Rights. According to the Magna Carta, "A free man shall not be [fined] for a small offense unless according to the measure of the offense, and for a great offense he shall be [fined] according to the greatness of the offense." The main idea behind this amendment is that the punishment given to a criminal should fit the crime that was inflicted. The main historical event that led to the adoption of this amendment was the infamous case of Titus Oates. Oates was tried in court for various acts of perjury, which led to multiple executions of people who had been unjustly accused by Oates. Due to this act, the punishments Oates received “included imprisonment and an annual ordeal which included being confined in a pillory for two days and one day of being whipped while tied to a moving cart.” The pillory is a device intended for public humiliation where the person's head and hands are secured in a wooden frame, which is usually placed in a public place where passersby can taunt them and throw garbage at them. Although the pillory and whipping were both normal and common punishments for that time, many people deemed Oates’s punishment as offensive and excessive due to the fact that this punishment was repetitive and given over and over again every single year. This was the case that directly led this phrase to be in the English Bill of Rights and therefore the United States Bill of Rights as the eighth amendment is taken word for word from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Basically, the founding father wanted to prohibit the government from inflicting abusive fines or punishment on anyone especially without reason. Whenever the Supreme Court interprets a certain amendment of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution in general, they usually analyze a particular case in the viewpoint of those who had originally enacted it and trying to determine how the Framers of the original Constitution would have considered it to mean. As soon as the Supreme Court has figured out the original intent, it is extremely rare for the Supreme Court to differ from that meaning because it is something that is meant to be stable and long lived. However this is not exactly the case when it comes to the interpretation of the eighth amendment and especially the clause against cruel and unusual punishments. In this particular case, the Supreme Court understands that the standards and norms of the society are constantly changing and evolving as the years go by. Something that may have been considered as constitutionally acceptable at one point of time in history may be considered as an unusual and cruel punishment in the future years. For example, in the past it was considered a normal and acceptable punishment to execute
Bill of Rights
Ten Amendments in the United States of America’s constitution when it first started, then the government ratified and now there are 27. But some are more or less important than one another. Amendment 8 is all about excessive bail, fines, and unusual punishments. This amendment is not really used for a typical average person. It allows a relative or friend who wants to pay the bond of an inmate to use a car or house. If the car is worth $10,000 and the bail is $10,000 then the car…
use of capital punishment. Based on the eighth amendment, people are discussing whether or not the death penalty be abolished. Some people think the death penalty should be abolished because the death penalty takes away other people’s rights. However, others think that the death penalty should not be abolished because it is the best way to punish killers and not let them do bad things again.
Why do people have such a different idea about a same amendment? For me, I think the reason is that there is…
I think that executing a minor violates the 8th amendment, “No cruel or unusual punishment.” If a little kid makes a mistake and accidentally shoots a gun or does something that kills someone, and they are executed I think that that falls under cruel and unusual punishment.
A court case that made it to the Supreme Court was the case of Kevin Nigel Stanford, who was convicted in 1981 of a murder committed in Kentucky when he was 17 years and 4 months old. Stanford and an accomplice repeatedly…
The United States Constitutional right that is applicable to inmates is the three amendments which are the first, fourth, and eighth amendments. The constitutional rights are not absolute and may conflict with the broader needs of society. Courts must examine government rules to determine exactly which behaviors have been infringed on or have not because guidance from the higher courts was lacking, many of the tests developed by the lower courts to resolve these cases were contradictory.
Ingraham V. Wright
By Dina Palomo
Players in the case:
James Ingraham was an 8th grader who
was 14 years old. He attended Charles R.
Drew Junior High School in Florida in Dade
County. He was the plaintiff (who brought
the case against the defendant).
Willie J. Wright Jr was the principal of
Charles R. Drew Junior High School. He
was the defendant (who was being
James Ingraham was told to leave the auditorium
stage by a teacher but since he refused he was
violates a woman's rights to privacy.
Women's rights & abolitionist movements- women's rights movement linked to abolitionist movement in 19th cent. In 1890 the national american women suffrage association was created. 19th amendment gave women the right to vote.
14th amendment- protects all us citizens from state actions that violates equal protection of the laws.
Voting Rights Act- 1965, federal law designed to protect voting rights of African Americans. It was expanded in 1975 to help minorities…
decapitation, gas chamber but the most common was the lethal injection. Now a days some states are trying to find a way to eliminated capital punishment because they found that it is unconstitutional and it is against the 5th, 8th and 14th amendment.
The U.S. Constitution's eight amendment states: 'Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. A number of state constitutions also contain the same, or similar, provisions. The objective of…
murder and in the penalty stage he was sentenced to the death penalty. He tried to appeal and petition the sentence but kept getting rejected until the Atkins v. Virginia. Atkins v. Virginia established that the 8th amendment is applicable to states through the 14th amendment prohibited the execution of a mentally retarded person. Therefore, Simmons petitioned that Atkins v. Virginia established that the constitution prohibited the execution of juveniles who committed a crime under the…
Freedom of Speech is in the first amendment as the first amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” James Madison first introduced the Freedom of Speech and Press clauses to the House of Representatives on June 8th 1789 in which he stated: “The people…
In both cases, the defendants argued how they client was identified and that it was a violation of one of their amendments. However, since they were easily identified by an eye witness this was easy for they officers to close their case.
Samaha, Joel. (2012). Criminal Procedure, 8th, Ed. Boston, MA:
Gardner, T. J.& Anderson, T. J. (2013). Criminal Evidence (8th ed.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.