The most important issue that must be addressed in this case is the principle of the “evolving standards of decency” and the uses of a national consensus. The “evolving standards of decency” were developed by Trop v. Dulles and have been implemented in one way or another in all of the precedents dealing with “cruel and unusual” punishment. It is important to treat these principles as an important aspect of “cruel and unusual” punishment jurisprudence, therefore turning from these set of principles would be foolish and a disregard for every precedent. However, it is important to acknowledge that each case satisfies the standards by using a different method; some use the presence or lack of state legislature as a judgment of consensus while others look at foreign countries.
It’s Not working out. By:Taija Jones. The 8th amendment says “Excessive bail shall not be required, Nor excessive fines imposed, Nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” . With that being said if the 8th amendment applies for cruel punishments of death penalties then why is it still happening.
Passed on September 25, 1789 and ratified on December 15, 1791 by Congress, the eighth amendment has been present in the United States for quite some time. Over time, the amendment has morphed and interpreted differently. In the Constitution it states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”. In the 1990s, individuals referenced the eighth amendment when discussing capital punishment or the death penalty. Death sentences were most frequent during the 1900s, resulting in some individuals declaring that it went against the amendment (Source A).
The Eighth Amendment prohibits inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on citizens. The judicial branch must ensure that the rights and privileges granted to American people by the Constitution are provided equally regardless of their race, sex, or sexual identification (Edmondson, 2017). John Doe after serving two years of a five-year sentence for manufacturing methamphetamines, escapes from prison by hiding in the back of a milk truck. When the milk truck makes its first stop, inmate Doe climbs out of the milk truck and walks away without anyone’s assistance. Inmate Doe manages to find a new set of clothes, catches a ride with a stranger, and shows up at a friend’s home.
The United States Constitution was constructed from a set of rules, also known as amendments, which were written with the great intention of securing the basic rights of all United States citizens and as such, it serves as an outline for the laws of the land by dictating the powers of the people and what is acceptable under the watch of the United States government. These rights are considered a privilege afforded to the people and should be exercised as indicated within the document. The history behind the induction of the second amendment began in the nineteenth century when in the summer of 1787, the Framers (included US Presidents) conspired with one another to write the articles of the United States Constitution during the constitutional convention. Fifty-five men drafted this document which serves as the blueprint of the United States government today. The motivation to construct and devise such a plan was created in order to give American citizens the absolute rights to proper enjoyment over their own lives.
In today’s day and age, a person does not get put to death for just any crime. A recurring argument against the death penalty is that sentencing a defendant to death violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition. The Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment. Mental illness is expressly recognized as a mitigating factor in most death penalty statutes. The Supreme Court came to the conclusion in the case of Ford vs. Wainwright that the use of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to execute a person whose mental state renders understanding of capital punishment is impossible.
The Eighth Amendment was created to prohibit cruel punishments that the colonists would receive from the British. The British brought colonists over to an unfair trial and then received punishment that sometimes would be death. The writers of the wanted to make sure that the colonists received the fair trial and fair punishment they deserve. The Eight Amendment was ratified in December 5, 1791 as a part of the Bill of Rights. The Eighth Amendment has not been changed since the ratification in 1791.
Does the death penalty violate the 8th Amendment? According to the National Constitution Center, the 8th Amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” (“Amendment VIII”). There is no objective answer to this, because the courts never clearly stated that the death penalty is cruel and unusual. I do not agree with any part of the death penalty simply because I believe it is cruel in the sense that it strips man of his “right to life” as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For example, the Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments” (U.S. Const. am. 8), but does not go on to say what punishments can be considered cruel and unusual. In this way, the constitution sets out the fundamental principles, while allowing the people of various generations to interpret the specificities of the articles. This has led to the constitution being considered a “living constitution” – a document that evolves and adapts over time, changing to fit new circumstances as they emerge, without being formally amended through the special amendment process (Strauss, 2010).
The Supreme Court ruled that it did not violate the eighth amendment and was constitutional. This brings up the question “Was the case properly determined by the Supreme Court or should it be Congress to decide?” Furman v. Georgia (1972) was a case similar to Gregg’s. A man was convicted of murder and burglary. He has sentenced the death penalty.
There was a recent storm in Hollywood, Florida that left many homes without power. This storm also affected prisoners that were still kept in prisons that lacked of power, supplies, and plumbing during the emergency. This situation relates to The Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment protects people from “cruel or unusual punishment”. Some might view that keeping them in prisons is wrong and against their will.
6th Amendment I personally find that out of all the amendments the most important one is the 6th amendment. Reason being that it is crucial in aiding the judicial process from wrongly persecuting innocent people and it allows our democratic process to continue without preventing innocent people for taking the fall while punishing those who harm it. It keeps justice in check, keeping laws in line and rulings to be fair. The 6th amendment helps the defendants have an attorney when they are unable to afford one.
The meaning of the Constitution may be puzzling and unclear but I find that the Living Constitution approach is the most practical for making judgements about particular cases. If I were a justice in the Supreme Court, I would use this approach because it’s based on a system that the document of the Constitution sets up a set of timeless principles that are applied in today’s world and not simply based on the time when it was written. The Constitution should be used to help solve problems by coming up with what these principles mean when applied in today’s world. An example of this is the controversy of whether marriage can or cannot be denied to gay people because of equality.
Being a US citizen has its perks, but knowing the amendments to the Constitution is something every citizen should consider, especially the first. Freedom of speech is one of the most important. If people want to share their opinions on how the government is doing, they are able to do so without the fear of getting in trouble with the law. It’s also a way to defend one’s self from courts but in an unharmful way. Freedom of religion is another right to the amendment that is also very important.