8th Amendment Essay

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1. The Eighth Amendment prohibits punishments that are no longer acceptable to civilized society and referred to as "cruel and unusual punishments." Discuss the history and reasoning of this Amendment and comment on the views of the Supreme Court and conclude the response with court case examples and their decisions.. 1. The U.S. Supreme Court has identified cruel and unusual punishment into two categories: barbaric punishments and disproportionate crimes. Barbaric punishments are punishments that society does not see as acceptable today. When the Eighth Amendment was adopted these barbaric punishments were crucifixion, torturing, burning at the stake, etc. Over a hundred years after the Bill of Rights was adopted none of the cases involving…show more content…
In 1958 in the Trop v. Dulles case the Court adopted the evolving standards test to determine whether sentences go against cruel and unusual punishment. This case marked the beginning of a maturing society. In 1944, Albert Trop a United States Army private escaped a military stockade in Casablanca, Morocco. Trop had just been confined because of a disciplinary violation. The following day after escaping Trop willingly surrendered. Trop was convicted of desertion and sentenced to three years of hard labor where he lost all of his pay and was given an honorable discharge. In 1952, Albert Trop applied for a passport where he was rejected. This rejection was on the base that he had lost his citizenship because of his wartime desertion and conviction. The Court decided that Trop’s punishment was cruel and unusual. The evolving standards of decency was applied to the Court in Thompson v. Oklahoma in 1988. This approach banned the execution of juveniles under sixteen years old. The following year however they ruled that executing juvenile offenders between sixteen and eighteen did not go against the evolution of society. In 2005, the Courts ruled that the Eighth and the Fourteenth Amendment forbid the execution of juvenile offenders who were under eighteen at the time of their
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