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Eight Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - Freedom from Cruel and unusual Punishment - Research Paper Example

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The federal criminal justice system’s has developed through the years with the insertion of the 8th amendent, specifically the right of freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. …
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Eight Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - Freedom from Cruel and unusual Punishment
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Download file to see previous pages The cruel and usual punishment case laws and statutes have helped to define our current application of the law with respect to the 8th amendment.
George Cole (2006) emphasized cruel and unusual punishment includes death penalty, torture, inhuman and degrading punishment, and excessive fines and excessive deprivations. Such punishment is unpopular because it unnecessarily imposes excessive torment or embarrassment on the convicted criminals. Historically, the law makers of the English Bill of rights if 1689 coined the words cruel and usual punishment in its crafting of the English version of the bill of rights. William Schabas (2008) states the United Nations General Assembly included in its international bill of rights the phrase “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumn or degrading treatment or punishment” in Article 5 of its Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Following suit, the United States included the same provisions in it 1787 Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2008, Greg Roza (2011) reiterated the United States Supreme Court ruled that cruel and usual punishment was meted by American soldiers when they use waterboarding to torture the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Likewise, the American soldiers mistreated and forced the prisoners to participate in humiliating activities.
According to the Eight Amendment, the law preventing the implementation of cruel and unusual punishment was enforced to eliminate prior methods of punishments classified as cruel and unusual. For example, impalement was form of cruel and unusual punishment becauese the punishers should pierce the person’s body with a long killing tool. Here, the person would suffer a painful and slow death. This type of European and Asian punishment was popular during the time of Ivan the Terrible. Other forms of cruel and unusual punishment included drawing and quartering, embowelling alive, public dissecting, beheading, and burning alive [Wilkerson V. Utah, 99 U.S. 130, 135 (1878)]. The courts allowed electrocution to be excempt from the list of cruel and unusual punishment [In re Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436 (1890)]. Complaints about cruel and unusual punishment had been voiced in 1789. Back then, the bill rights proponents included the fight to eliminate cruel and unusual punishment. This is found in the Annals of Congress 754 (1789). English history laid the path to the inclusion of the “cruel and unsual punishment” clause in its 1689 bill of rights. This is shown in E.g., 2 J. Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Constitution 111 (2d ed 1836); 3 id.at 447 -52 (Ref: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment08/03.html#1). Likewise, the Supreme Court rulings include Granucci, “Nor Cruel and Unusual Punishments Inflicted”: The Original Meaning, 57 Calif. L. Rev. 839 (1969). The term without proportionality had been used by the Court in the case Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910). Greg Roensch (Roensch, 2007) agrees it is vague that the ``unusual'' can be included under the term cruelty Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 276 n.20 (1972) ( with Justice Brennan seeing eye to eye)], even though it may be significant in Weems, 217 U.S. at 377, and in Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 100 n. 32 (1958) (plurality opinion), and it was significant in the case of Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 994-95 (1991) (``severe, mandatory ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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