Eighth Amendment Analysis

Last of my posts on amendments.  Check out the first two about the second and sixth amendments and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.


Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The Eighth Amendment is somewhat of a “catch-all” for the other amendments.  Coming almost at the very end it serves as last defense in the judicial system.  After we’ve established the government must issue clear warrants and only with probable cause (IV), cannot try the a person twice for the same crime (V), must provide a jury (VII), and numerous other rights and restrictions, the Eighth Amendment sums them all up by stating that if someone is finally convicted the punishment must be realistic.  Without setting a specific amount, the constitution is able to stay current just keeping bails and fines from being “excessive.”  When all other safeguards against unjust arrest fail, there is still the prevention of a judge sentencing a cruel punishment.  This checks the federal government by preventing it from using the justice system to terrorize citizens with huge penalties.  Huge penalties like those still employed in Saudi Arabia today such as the loss of a hand for theft.  This amendment is to preserve freedom in our and supports the other parts of the constitution that promote justice without terror.

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I'm Spencer. I'm in to politics, martial arts, and technology. Find out more about me here.
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