8th Amendment to the United States Constitution Explained

8th amendment

8th Amendment
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

 8th Amendment Simplified

According to the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, fines should not be imposed in excess, and neither shall excess bail be needed. It also goes against any punishment that is brutal and barbaric. The amendment is there to protect criminal defendants from getting cruel punishments from the federal government. This is for both being punished for a crime or as a price for being released before a trial.

It’s crucial to understand a few aspects of what is based on cruelty and unusual punishment and why it was so important to be added to the US Constitution.

Why It Was Added To The Constitution.

Going back into history, George Mason is the one that included the ban of unusual and cruel punishments on the Commonwealth Declaration of Rights. This happened in 1776, and in 1791 the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution included the same concept. The bill was first adopted in England before being adopted in the  US Constitution.

Before the first ratification by states, the United States Constitution, there was no Bill of Rights, and cruel punishments were not prohibited. It was only added after ratification when several debates were held regarding the use of cruel and unusual punishments and if they should be used or not. The majority supported the presence of the clause.

Under the Confederation Articles, the government wasn’t powerful, but the changes that were proposed for the Constitution gave the government more power. The most significant one included being able to come up with federal crimes and punishing offenders who commit the crimes.

The opposition team that was against the Constitution believed Congress would oppress people through brutal punishments. There was no restriction on the type of severe punishments they could think of utilizing. They thought Congress would use cruel punishments to force confessions through torture like Spain, Germany, and France. 

The clause is against any brutal means of punishment towards criminals; therefore, it doesn’t allow the federal government to start practicing cruel punishments again. If the federal government tries doing anything related to cruelty in terms of punishment, it will be going against the Eighth Amendment.

The majority of people believe that the clause has influenced the state and federal governments’ limited power.

Opinions On The Eighth Amendment.

There are disagreements on what cruel and unusual punishments mean and how they’re carried out.

One of them is how the court decides whether the caliber of punishment is cruel and unconstitutional, and what standard should be set.

The next one is whether only the barbaric modes of punishment should be stopped or prohibit penalties that don’t balance with a person’s offense.

For example, consider someone violating some parking regulations and then getting sentenced to life.

The third argument from proponents is whether or not the Eighth Amendment prohibits the death penalty. Many of them believe it should be categorized with the old barbaric punishments and should be removed.

Another concern is whether or not some current punishments such as solitary confinement or drug execution on criminals are cruel and unusual. Those are some of the arguments weighed upon the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

2 Responses

  1. We All need to study, learn and Stand up for the Documents that protect Our Freedoms. So Many have given their lives So We and generations to come May Remain a Fair, Just and Free Nation. The Current Administration wants to Destroy that They seek to make the Same Mistakes So Many other once great Nations have made by taking the power from the people and controlling Us with Massive Government and Laws and Regulations we have No say in.
    This is Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Regardless of what form and extent they take These forms of Government Always end in Total destruction, Civil wars, and the Bourgeois being the Only ones that benefit. The January 6 2020 Incident at the Capitol is a perfect example of disregard for Our Constitution. The Eighth Amendment prevents holding people without bail, as Well as cruel and abusive treatment, torture etc…
    The Media Turned a Peaceful Protest into a fake Insurrection, They didn’t just embellish the story they created a Work of fiction. The Only Crimes committed that day were perpetrated by a handful of people out of the Thousand or more that attended.
    They did break in which is a crime but after the forced entry Capitol police were filmed holding the door open to almost encourage more to enter. The worst Lie told was the media claiming a law enforcement officer was hit with a fire extinguisher and killed That Entire event Never occurred The officer was Never threatened with anything He left work that day Totally unscathed, went home Safely. Sadly. He Suffered a Heart attack at his home the next morning. There is video to support Every Facet of Actual Factual events.
    There was a murder that day however it was an Unarmed young woman, a Veteran that wasn’t destructive or seemingly unruly but she was Shot to death by Capitol police. Her murder has yet to be investigated.
    Those arrested that day have had All of their 8th Amendment Rights Violated by People who Swore an Oath to Protect, defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

  2. You are another moron who needs to get off of your meds and take a look at the real world you are running over with your Constitution tank. If that crowd had been black or brown they would have been gunned down and eaten by police dogs. That was an inside job which is why the doors were held open by the officers and the entire scene is a perfect example of an uniformed public being led by a psychopath.

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