Words nearby Eighth Amendment
MORE ABOUT EIGHTH AMENDMENT
What is the Eighth Amendment?
The Constitution of the United States is the document that serves as the fundamental law of the country. An amendment is a change to something. An amendment to the Constitution is any text added to the original document since its ratification in 1788. The Constitution has been amended 27 times in American history.
The Eighth Amendment reads:
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
Bail is property or money that you give to the state to assure the state that you will show up to your trial. Bail is usually set by a judge and is paid instead of spending time in prison or jail while waiting for a trial. If you show up for the trial, your bail is returned to you. The Eighth Amendment forbids “excessive bail,” such as setting bail at millions of dollars for a minor crime.
A fine is money that you pay as punishment for committing a crime. For example, a city may charge you a fine for littering. The Supreme Court has ruled that “excessive fines” also apply to property seized by police during criminal investigations. If the police arrested you for grand theft auto (that is, stealing an automobile) and took all of your money from your and your family’s bank accounts, that would very likely be considered an excessive fine.
Lastly, the Eighth Amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishments. But what counts as “cruel and unusual”? The Supreme Court has examined this wording many times over the centuries. It has ruled that barbaric means of torture or execution, such as beheading, are strictly forbidden. The court has also ruled that taking away an American’s citizenship is cruel punishment.
However, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that capital punishment (the death penalty) itself is not cruel or unusual and considers it constituional to sentence criminals to death. Most Supreme Court rulings regarding the death penalty have instead focused on specific circumstances when capital punishment can be delivered and eliminating processes that delay the penalty.
The court’s stance has been and is extremely controversial. Today, the death penalty is still legal but is often fiercely debated.
Why is Eighth Amendment important?
The Eighth Amendment is one of 10 amendments included in the Bill of Rights, a set of 10 amendments added to the Constitution almost immediately after that document was put into law. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified by the required three-fourths of the state legislatures and added to the Constitution.
When the Bill of Rights was being debated, many Congressman vigorously supported a ban on cruel and unusual punishments. They were concerned that the tyrannical government they had just gained independence from would be replaced by a Congress that could oppress citizens using torture and cruel punishments. At least one Congressman even referenced the Spanish Inquisition to argue to ban cruel punishments. Interestingly, a few Congressman were unhappy with the intentionally vague wording of this clause even before the Eighth Amendment was officially ratified.
Unlike the bails and fines clauses of the Eighth Amendment, the punishment clause has caused many debates today. Even among Supreme Court justices, the issue is often divisive, especially in relation to the death penalty.
Did you know … ?
Although the Supreme Court has ruled that the Eight Amendment allows the death penalty a legal punishment, only 28 states have authorized it.
What are real-life examples of Eighth Amendment?
This photograph shows a French guillotine. According to the Eighth Amendment, execution devices like this one are forbidden.
Most Americans know that the Eighth Amendment forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.”
BREAKING: Today SCOTUS ruled that the Eighth Amendment protects people from state and local authorities' abusive fines, fees, and forfeitures to raise money.
This will help stop state and local authorities from using people in the justice system as their piggy banks.
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 20, 2019
at this point i think school can be considered a violation of the eighth amendment
— 🎷🦆 jazz duck chris (@ChrisPoulson11) December 17, 2020
What other words are related to Eighth Amendment?
Which of the following is NOT specifically forbidden by the Eighth Amendment?
A. excessive bail
B. excessive fines
C. capital punishment
D. cruel and unusual punishment
How to use Eighth Amendment in a sentence
On his eighth try, more than three decades after he went in, the parole board finally voted to release Sam.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside|Justin Rohrlich|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Open-carry activists are known for baiting cops into on-camera arguments about the Second Amendment and state laws.Texas Gun Slingers Police the Police—With a Black Panthers Tactic|Brandy Zadrozny|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
They would not, for example, supersede federal law regarding the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.
Either we believe the First Amendment is worth defending or we do not.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror|David Keyes|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They then would expect the Senate to strip that amendment and compromise simply on keeping government open for 60 days.Bachmann and Pelosi vs. Boehner and Obama Over Spending Bill|Ben Jacobs|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
John of Damascus, an important Greek theologian of the eighth century, often cited by Thomas.The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II)|Henry Osborn Taylor
In the eighth line we have “bells” seven times repeated in all—bells being taken in their utmost generality, viz., musical action.Assimilative Memory|Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
On the eighth of the said month it was washed, and another small grain of gold obtained, of the same size as the preceding.
Consequently an amendment may be made diminishing the weekly allowance to a member who is sick, and also the time of allowing it.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles
The steam in ordinary working was shut off when the piston had moved from an eighth to a quarter of its stroke.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2)|Francis Trevithick