Punishment Then Now and What's Equity Got to Do With it Amendment Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2456 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Public Administration

Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which is included in the U.S. Bill of Rights, forbids excessive bail or fines, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. The expressions used were taken from the English Bill of Rights. The Amendment has been made pertinent to the states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment by the Supreme Court in 1962 (Robinson v. California 370 U.S. 660) (Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, n.d.). The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment, which is what it is best known for. Both the imposition of an exacting sentence, or the behavior of corrections officials in imposing a sentence, may be confronted under the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment. Since the 1972 milestone case of Furman v. Georgia, many Supreme Court cases have measured whether the imposition of the death penalty, either completely or under definite situations, may infringe on the Eighth Amendment prevention (Adelman, n.d.).

Section II: Actual Wording

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The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was approved in 1791, has three stipulations. The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause limits the harshness of punishments that state and federal governments may inflict upon people who have been found guilty of a criminal wrongdoing. The Excessive Fines Clause restricts the quantity that state and federal governments may fine a person for a certain crime. The Excessive Bail Clause limits judicial judgment in determining bail for the discharge of people blamed for a criminal offense throughout the period subsequent to their arrest but before their trial. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" (Eighth Amendment, 2011).

Term Paper on Punishment Then Now and What's Equity Got to Do With it Amendment 8 Assignment

The Eighth Amendment is enforced in addition to the 14th amendment and its Due Process clause. It makes use of language from the English Bill of Rights of 100 years before. It was first approved in the United States in 1776 in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and unites with the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments in order to guard the rights of the accused (What is the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 2011).

The cruel and unusual punishment provisions of the Eighth Amendment forbid punishments believed extreme or detached from the standards of society, comprising drawing and quartering, a practice that was accepted all through Europe during that time. It additionally forbids the tremendous punishments of disembowelment, community dissection, burning alive, and removing of citizenship. It did permit for the utilization of hanging and a firing squad, although these have since been prohibited. These punishments were limited first under the Eighth Amendment itself, and then under a 1972 Supreme Court decision, which fashioned four main ideologies for the limit of punishments. These standards limited punishments which are humiliating to peoples self-respect, those that are random; those that are obviously discarded by the greater part of civilization; and those that are clearly needless (What is the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 2011).

Supreme Courts have, historically, determined many legal punishments too extreme in certain cases under the Eighth Amendment. A punishment of hard and agonizing work was reversed in 1910, as was a punishment for dependence on narcotics in 1962, even though a life sentence was permissible for possession of large quantities of these drugs. Starting in 1983, the span of punishments started to be looked at as cruel and unusual for the level of the crime committed. The death sentence is a particularly contentious feature of the Eighth Amendment. The amendment has given for the limit of capital punishment on the mentally handicapped, those less than 18 years old, and those who have committed rape, which was met with a great deal disagreement. States quickly altered their laws to acclimatize to the decisions of the Supreme Court, with some states maintaining the death penalty and some abolishing it. The Supreme Court, in 1976, offered the division of the decisions of a decision and a decree (What is the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 2011).

Section III: Originating Circumstances

The Eighth Amendment was approved, as part of the Bill of Rights, in 1791. It is approximately identical to a provision in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, in which Parliament stated that as their ancestors in similar cases have typically done, that extreme bail ought not to be obligatory, nor too much fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments imposed. Virginia implemented this provision of the English Bill of Rights in the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, and the Virginia convention that approved the U.S. Constitution suggested in 1788 that this language also be incorporated in the Constitution. Virginians such as George Mason and Patrick Henry sought after to ensure that this limit would also be applied as a restraint on Congress. Mason warned that, if not, Congress might inflict unusual and severe punishments. Henry stressed that Congress could otherwise go away from precedent. But Congress may start the practice of the civil law, in fondness to that of the common law. In the end, Henry and Mason triumphed, and the Eighth Amendment was accepted (Schwartz, 1992).

Section VI: Meaning for Administrative Practice and/or the Making of Public Policy

Gorlin, David C. (2009). Evaluating Punishment in Purgatory: The Need to Separate Pretrial

Detainees' Conditions-of-Confinement Claims from Inadequate Eighth Amendment

Analysis. Michigan Law Review, 108(3), p.417-444.

This article discusses the Due Process Clause and how it forbids all punishment of pretrial prisoners, people that are detained by the Government, but not found culpable of any offense. The Eighth Amendment only forbids the infliction of cruel and unusual punishments upon convicted people. Regardless of the Supreme Court's persistence that the Due Process Clause, and not the Eighth Amendment, guards pretrial prisoners from awful and damaging circumstances of imprisonment, most federal circuits now evaluate pretrial prisoners' claims under Eighth Amendment principles. Under the Eighth Amendment structure, pretrial prisoners must found that circumstances subjected them to a considerable danger of serious damage, and that jailers were conscious of the damage and intentionally unresponsive to their desires. The Eighth Amendment approach puts pretrial prisoners on equal footing with convicted people. Prisoners are only permitted to the same objective handling as convicted people, and they must overcome the same difficult obstacle to state a claim, founding the subjective purposeful unresponsiveness of jail officials.

Olsen, Chad. (2010). How the Tenth Circuit's Ruling in Martinez v. Beggs Affects the Deliberate

Indifference Standard for Eighth Amendment Claims. Brigham Young University Law

Review, 2010(1), p.199-214.

This article discusses the court case of Martinez v. Beggs wherein the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that prison officials are not legally responsible for a detainee's death under Section 1983 of the U.S. Constitution, which asserts the detainee's Eighth Amendment rights. An argument is offered based on the case Farmer v. Brennan, in which the Supreme Court did not necessitate precise risk but required the prison official to be conscious of facts from which inferences could be drawn. The Martinez ruling presents conflicts with many other court rulings.

Amend, Andrew W. (2008). Giving Precise Content to the Eighth Amendment: An Assessment

of the Remedial Provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Columbia Law Review,

108(1), p.143-181.

This article discusses how Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA) in answer to a flood of inmate lawsuits and judicial micromanagement of punitive institutions. The Act limited injunctive relief in prison circumstances cases to the smallest amount required by federal law. This alteration set Eighth Amendment cases apart from other constitutional infringements by commanding particular limits on fair remedies. This article argues against hemming in courts' capacity to correct Eighth Amendment infringements. It also points out that the Eighth Amendment shares with laws in opposition to torture an admiration for human dignity that differentiates legal from other kinds of force. The PLRA makes such an example by restraining the kind of remedy required to deal with the universal failures that often motivate Eighth Amendment violations. This article also suggests that Congress rephrase certain provisions in the manner embrace by the Ninth Circuit but discarded by other courts of appeals, as placing the burden of proof on defendants moving to end judicial management of prisons.

Colon, Sara. (2009). Capital Crime: How California's Administration of the Death Penalty

Violates the Eighth Amendment. California Law Review, 97(5), p.1377-1417.

In this article the author talks about the extreme and violation of the capital punishment against the Eight Amendment in California. He is critical how deterrent and retributive the capital punishment in the states after the low execution rate appeared and inmates in death rows have already due for seventeen years like a life-without-parole sentence. Also examined is the violation of the Eight Amendment for practicing extreme and capital punishment.

Constitutional Law -- Eighth Amendment -- Eastern District of California Holds that Prisoner

Release is Necessary to Remedy Unconstitutional California Prison Conditions

Coleman v. Schwarzenegger,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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