8th Amendment Purpose

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The Eighth Amendment It’s a late Autumn afternoon and a young fourteen year old boy is told that he has to pay $24,000 bail for stealing a bag of groceries. This is an unreasonable price to pay for the crime he committed. Luckily for us, the Eighth Amendment protects US citizens from unfair situations such as this one. The Eighth Amendment’s meaning and purpose has left an enduring impact on the citizens of the United States of America. Meaning and Purpose First of all, the Eighth Amendment is an extremely significant part of the Constitution. The Eighth Amendment’s purpose is split into two parts. The first way that the Eighth Amendment is important to the Constitution is that it protects us from high bail prices. According to http://www.annenbergclassroom.org, …show more content…

Firstly, punishments given cannot be given brutal sentences and punishments. The article states, “The better-known component of the Eighth Amendment is the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.” This points out that people cannot be punished in cruel or unusual ways. Secondly, punishments have to be proportionate to the size of their crime. For example, the article notes, “Although this phrase originally was intended to outlaw certain gruesome methods of punishment—such as torture, burning at the stake, or crucifixion—it has been broadened over the years to protect against punishments that are grossly disproportionate to (meaning much too harsh for) the particular crime.” To illustrate, this shows that accused people cannot be given punishments that are larger than the size of their crime. Lastly, death sentences are allowed, but must follow certain guidelines. The article from www.annenbergclassroom.org notes, “Except for a brief period in the 1970s, the death penalty has not been considered by the U.S. Supreme Court to be cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, Eighth Amendment challenges to the death penalty have focused on the methods used to carry out executions, whether certain offenders (for example, juveniles or the mentally retarded) should be subject to the sentence and whether death sentences are decided in a fair manner and by an impartial …show more content…

Simmons. First of all, minors are tried differently in court than adults. According to www.law2.umkc.edu, “ the Court considered whether it was cruel and unusual punishment to execute a prisoner for a crime he committed when he was a minor.” This shows that minors do not get tried as severely as adults. The article also added, “In previous decisions, the Court had found it unconstitutional to execute persons who were less than 16 at the time of their crime, but had upheld executions of those 16 and 17 at the time of their crimes.” This line from the article explains that the court didn’t think it was right to execute minors, but still did it in certain cases. In addition, the court found it unconstitutional to execute other categories of people. The article states,”(The Court had also, in 2002, held it to be a violation of the Eighth Amendment to execute mentally retarded persons.)" This excerpt points out that it is illegal to execute people with mental disabilities. Lastly, the court had to decide whether this case violated the Eighth Amendment. Thus, the article said, “Voting 5 to 4, the Court in Roper cited recent evidence to conclude that the execution of persons who were minors at the time of their crimes now violated "evolving standards of decency" and, hence, the Eighth Amendment.” This quote states that this case has violated the Eighth Amendment and therefore is

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