Eighth Amendment: Cruel And Unusual Punishment Clause

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The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment 's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause also applies to the states. The phrases in this amendment originated in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the United States Bill of Rights. To begin with, the Eighth Amendment was adopted, as part of the Bill of Rights, in 1791. It is almost identical to a provision in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, in which Parliament declared, "as their ancestors in like cases have usually done...that excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." This criminal punishment exception to the 13th Amendment is all the more brazen when one considers the inhumanity of lengthy prison sentences today – often handed out in assembly-line fashion, and dispensed more often to…show more content…
One question that the 8th Amendment leaves open, however, is whether or not the amendment requires that all defendants be given the opportunity to post bail, or if there are some instances, such as when a person might constitute a threat to the community if released, when the judge can refuse to give someone the opportunity to post bail and get out of jail. In United States v. Salerno, 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that the "Bail Reform Act of 1984" did not violate the 8th Amendment 's Excessive Bail Clause, nor did it violate the Due Process Clause in the 5th Amendment. The Bail Reform Act gave the federal court permission to hold people before their trial if they could prove the person was too dangerous to allow loose in the
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