Premium Essay

8th Amendment Controversy

Submitted By
Words 1439
Pages 6
Controversy over the eighth amendment has been a major topic of debate for many years across the United States. The eighth amendment reads, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” (Cornell University Law School). Under the eighth amendment is the clause that focuses on the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment, which is one of the most controversial clauses of the United Stated Constitution in today’s debates. There are those who advocate for the death penalty and those who oppose it, arguing that it constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment. With that being said, this paper will discuss the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Controversy over the death penalty in the U.S. Supreme Court can be traced back to 1879 with Wilkerson v. Utah, which stated that the Utah territorial statue of execution by firing squad was not cruel and unusual punishment under the eighth amendment of the U.S. constitution. (Wikipedia: Wilkerson v. Utah)
In 1972, the United States Supreme Court struck down capital punishment, reducing all death …show more content…
Rees in 2008 argued that the Kentucky execution by lethal injection would violate the eighth amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Ralph Baze and Thomas Bowling argued that the lethal chemicals used by Kentucky allowed for unnecessary risk of inflicting pain during execution. This case would come to have nationwide implications due to the commonly used “cocktail” for lethal injections across all states. After being granted certiorari by the Supreme Court, there was another moratorium effective on all executions in the United States pending their decision. By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court upheld Kentucky’s lethal injection methods, ruling the death penalty as constitutional in the United States, thus lifting the moratorium on all state pending death sentences. (Wikipedia Baze v. Rees; Cornell University Law

Similar Documents

Free Essay

To What Extent Should the Law Reflect a Moral Vision, Even When This Involves an Interference with the Rights of Individuals Who Might Disagree with That Vision?”

...who might disagree with that vision?” The relationship between the law and morality is one which has been a source of discussion and controversy for a whole host of reasons. It can be argued that although it is fundamentally futile for a particular moral vision to not influence law making, is it just for one’s perception of what is morally right to hinder the rights of others who may not share such moral visions? In a democracy, we the people decide who makes the laws for us – preferably the laws should reflect the moral vision of the people who we choose to represent us. However, due to the complex nature of morality the value system of the people tends to be varied. Thus, the law does not please everybody and as a result the rights of some individuals are hindered due to the contrasting moral vision of others. The purpose of this essay is to explore the way in which abortion as an issue is one which has been greatly affected by adverse moral visions. As a result, the rights of individuals in Ireland who may disagree with that vision have been affected. The Enactment of the 8th Amendment. The lawfulness of abortion under the constitution of Ireland can be considered as a topic which has sparked much debate between dissimilar views on abortion and bodily autonomy in Ireland. Kingston wrote that before the insertion of the eight amendment into the Irish constitution in 1983, the constitution didn’t contain any specific provision on the topic of abortion. Article 40.3 affirmed...

Words: 2050 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Death Penalty Is Constitutional

...Jamil Haddad February, 13, 2013’ Death Penalty is Constitutional The 8th Amendment prohibits the justice system to condemn cruel and unusual punishment. However there has been a big controversy whether death penalty is constitutional. In the Gregg case, the majority in the Supreme Court stated that the new requirements in order to sentence someone prevents jury’s from being, “Cruel and unusual”. “Moreover, they added the new Georgia statues were sufficiently rigorous so as to ensure that the death penalty would not be arbitrarily applied”, (Potter Stewart). Because Georgia has made strict rules in order to regulate death penalties, it has stopped jury’s from making decisions capriciously and arbitrarily. “The new Georgia sentencing procedures by contrast, focus the jury’s attention on the particularized nature of the crime and the particularized characteristics of the individual defendant.” Capital punishment is constitutional according to the Gregg vs. Georgia precedent. Before the judges can pull out the execution card, now they are obligated to examine the details of the action committed and examine the circumstances that have made the criminal commit the crime. By doing this first simple procedure it gives the defendant a chance to know that their truth would be valuable and would feel more security in knowing they wouldn't be discriminated on. Including every person that gets death penalty...

Words: 639 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

8th Amendment Research Paper

...Constitutionally acceptable punishments include fines, imprisonment and humane executions for certain serious crimes. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limits the punishments that may be imposed by the government on American citizens. These limits are compulsory among the states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 expressed concern with arbitrary and disproportionate sanctions, giving way to the Founders inclusion of the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. To explore the Eighth Amendment it is important to consider constitutionally accepted punishments, the ever-evolving practice of capital punishment, and eighth amendment protection inside prison walls. Barron V. Baltimore (1833),...

Words: 760 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Capital Punishment

...[Type the company name] [Year] [Type the document title] [Type the document subtitle] alkazar CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Capital punishment, also known as death penalty or execution is a lawful infliction of death upon a person as a punishment for an offense. It has been practiced in the past by most societies, although only 58 nations still practice it, with 95 countries having abolished it. It’s a matter of active controversy in various countries and states. The bible prescribes death for murder and many other crimes, including kidnapping and witchcraft The death penalty has been use in America since 1608. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO THE DEATH PENALTY Getting capital punishment in any state is not a foregone conclusion in any homicide case. * First the District Attorney has to charge the defendant with first degree murder and seek the death penalty; this is not something they do lightly. * The defendant may offer a plea bargain where he will plead guilty in return for the DA not to have the death penalty, otherwise if the case goes to trial the jury has to find that person guilty in the first degree. * Therefore after the first phase of the trial when a defendant is found guilty in a capital murder case it has to be a second penalty phase where the prosecution can put forward aggravating factors and the defense can show mitigating factors and jurors have to make sure that those factors have been proved and between those jurors. If one of them objects...

Words: 770 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

A Memo - the Plumpy'Nut Controversy

...TO: Board of Directors FROM: Consultant SUBJECT: The Plumpy’nut Controversy DATE: December 8th, 2014 INTRODUCTION I would like to bring to your attention the trending controversy that has come about on patenting of Plumpy’nut®. A background check on developing countries has confirmed that less children are dying due to severe malnutrition and thus, showing the benefit of this Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF (WHO 2010). Therefore, before further discussions about the patenting rights, I would like to give a small review on the impact of Plumpy’nut. FACTS SUMMARY A few facts revolving around the now popular Plumpy’nut are as follows: * It is very easy to make, even in developing countries, as all is needed is peanuts, powdered milk, sugar, minerals and vitamins to make a paste-like substance full of calories and nutrients to aid the poor and undernourished people. * The product is reaching out to about 2 million children in Niger but there are almost 105 million children across Africa, Haiti and other 3rd world countries that the product hasn’t yet reached. * Nutriset has Plumpy’nut patented in France in 2010 as its intellectual property, having developed it in 1977 and later by the U.S. in 2002 (USPTO, 2009). * Over 10 countries have companies that bear Nutriset’s licenses to produce Plumpy’nut (Nutriset 2010). * UNICEF gets 90% of its Plumpy’nut supply from Nutriset. ETHICAL DILEMMA Business ethics entails the study of what is right, wrong...

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Law 531 Week 4 Irac Brief

...mandatory service fees payable to collective bargaining agencies constitutional for state civil service non-union employees? Rule – “Agency shop” policies enforcing compulsory union fees may force employees to go against their own principles [Ellis v (Brotherhood of Railway, Airline & Steamship Clerks, 466 US 435, 455; 104 S Ct 1883; 80 L Ed 2d 428 (1984)]. Prohibiting or forcing employees to support ideological beliefs and unions violates a person’s constitutional right in the eyes of the State of Michigan. Analysis – The Michigan Court of Appeals considered the limits of the law to avoid infringing on laws superseding the State (Federal laws). During the analysis of the court, questions of protected constitutional rights (1st amendment) outweighed previously written state laws requiring employees to pay union fees as a condition for employment, regardless of the employee’s affiliated status (Const 1963, art 11, § 5). The previously written laws implied unionization due to the necessity of members...

Words: 857 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Democracy: A Political Cartoon Analysis

...coalition’s stronghold in politics. The event of 1848 was the first presidential election that took place on the same day in every state, and it was the first time that Election Day was also on a Tuesday.[4] The nation had been governed under the Democratic Party in Polk’s term, and now the Democratic Party had loss in this election to Whig Party candidate Zachary Taylor for the victory. During the Mexican War on August 8th, 1846 Congressman David Wilmot had issued the “Wilmot Proviso”, which would than lead to influence many voters to notice a division in the Democratic Party before the election of 1848. The Party had been divided over the many issues brought from this war, including the controversy of slavery. The Wilmot Proviso neglected the expansion of slavery into any known territory acquired by the United States from the lands of Mexico [5]. This was a proposed amendment that would help Polk find funding over the new territories he had gained; the proposal had passed through the House of Representatives but was refuted by the Senate. The amendment stirred the nation as it made many dislike the Democratic Party for their abolition stance on slavery, which was advocated by Northern members of the party and refuted by Southern members. These events brought out from Polk’s term, would soon influence a Civil war and also a failing towards the Democratic run in the elections of 1848. Lewis Cass, a northern senator from Michigan, was chosen by the Democratic Party for his...

Words: 967 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Drug Testing in Schools

...Many schools have implemented drug testing for students playing sports or joining extracurricular activities. This new program has caused overwhelming controversy among schools, teachers, parents, students, and other officials across the country. The biggest reason for these new found programs may be contributed to recent polls, which have shown an increase in drug use among students. Now many parents, teachers, students, and other officials are for drug testing. However, many are not. One argument against drug testing is that it invades the students privacy. The fourth amendment states "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This was put into place to protect U.S citizens against practices such as random drug testing. Without cause there is no reason to do a random drug test. On the other hand what about a student’s right to an education in a safe and drug free environment? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse “ marijuana use has increased in 2011 to 7.2% of 8th graders, 17.6% of 10th graders, and 22.6% of 12th graders this is up from 5.7%, 14.2% and 18.8% in 2007.” And according to the U.S. Department of Human Health Services the “Illicit drug use rate among children...

Words: 643 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Death Penalty

...condemned person to death. When one reads history of the world, it is seen that many people were sentenced to death because they raised a voice against the king. Ending a person’s life without giving him a chance to repent is not the best of the correctional methods. It might serve as deterrence for others but to what extent is that entirely true will be examined in the paper. The “cruel and unusual” clause in the eighth amendment states that “cruel and unusual punishment” such as torture or lingering death can not be inflicted on anyone as a form of execution. It is however permissible under the 8th Amendment to execute a convict by means of hanging, shooting, electrocution, and lethal gas. There is still confusion about what is actually constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.” There have been several court cases of interest that have challenged and redefined this concept. In Louisiana ex. Rel. Francis v. Resweber, a convicted murderer was subject to a botched execution, and subsequently argued that a second attempt at execution would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment constituting cruel and unusual punishment. Previously the forms of execution were very painful. Many were beheaded while many were crucified. Crucifixion was the method used to execute Jesus according to Christianity. Such methods aimed at prolonging the pain before death. “Some may attempt to argue that there is scriptural authorization for the death penalty and so capital punishment will never be listed as an...

Words: 1624 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Warren vs Rehnquist Courts

...Running head: WARREN VERSUS REHNQUIST COURTS Warren versus Rehnquist Courts Michael Walker Park University Abstract The criminal justice system is greatly shaped by the civil rights safeguarded under the Bill of Rights. The court jurisprudence with regard to national security and civil liberties largely revolves around the provisions of the Bill of Rights (Baker, 2003). This paper discusses Chief Justices Earl Warren and William Rehnquist’s significant decisions and the effects they had on the balance between social order maintenance and individual liberties. Warren versus Rehnquist Courts Earl Warren held the position of Chief Justice between 1953 and 1969. He led a liberal majority, who utilized the judicial authority to consternate their conservative opponents. The Warren Court promoted the federal power, judicial power, civil liberties, and civil rights in a dramatic fashion. The Rehnquist Court, on the other hand, took a conservative approach in criminal justice (Pollak, 1979). The most significant case that the Warren Court decided with regard to civil liberties was Brown v Board of Education of Copeka, Kansas (1954). The court unanimously ruled that there is no place for the doctrine of separate but equal doctrine in the sphere of public education. The Warren Court demonstrated its value for liberalism and activism. The view of the Warren Court was that states are a hindrance in the enhancement of a just nation. In the sphere of criminal procedure and...

Words: 2153 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Special Crime Victim Topic

...crime after the crime was committed. Just as clear an rare like the first one. An example is raising the age of statutory rape form 16 to 21. Finally it takes away a defense that was available to a defendant when the crime was committed. The Ex Post Facto ban is protect private individuals by ensuring that legislature give them a fair warning about criminal and that they can rely on that requirement. The other purpose is to prevent legislators form passing arbitrary and vindictive laws. The Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine takes aim similar to the ban on ex post facto. Void laws fails to give fair warning to individuals as to what the law prohibits. It can never cure the uncertainty in all laws because laws are in word, not numbers. 14 amendment of the U.S constitutional states that,” no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the Equal protection of the laws. Equal Protection is more frequently an issue in criminal procedure than it is in criminal law. First of all, equal protection doesn’t...

Words: 2745 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Pad 510

...Historical Perspective: Justice Policy-The Death Penalty Patrice Green Dr. Humphress Politics, Policy, and Ethics in the Public Sector April 26, 2013 The first confirmation of the death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century in Babylon. Death penalty, legal infliction of death as a penalty for violating criminal law. The death penalty was codified for 25 different crimes. Such things carried out the death sentence as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement (Randa, 1997). The practice of the death penalty is as old as the government itself. The death penalty has not been considered controversial for most of history. Since ancient times most governments have punished a wide variety of crimes by death and have conducted executions as a routine part of the administration of criminal law. The Age of Enlightenment was the first significant movement to abolish the death penalty. Britain was very influential in America’s use of the death penalty. The European settlers that came to the new world are the one’s that brought the practice of capital punishment, death penalty. The first execution was recorded in the Jamestown Colony of Virginia in 1608. The Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws were enacted in 1612 by the Governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas Dale. The death penalty was established for minor offenses such as killing chickens, stealing grapes, and trading with Indians. It was Cesare Beccaria’s 1767...

Words: 1018 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Abortion Debtes

...Abortion Debates HCM-331 Mount Olive College May 15, 2010 Abortion Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in the United States today that has the ability to provoke debate in the legal, political, medical, ethical, and religious arenas. The passion and emotion behind the debate has polarized the Nation and propelled groups on either side of the issue to bring their stance into the spotlight. Some have worked outside the legal system with a sense of vigilante justice, and others have worked within the legal system to bring about change. As health care administrators, we must be knowledgeable of the issues that are fueling the debate and the current laws regarding those issues. Before discussing the laws regarding abortion, definitions vital to the understanding of the laws are necessary. These include fetus, gestation, trimester, quickening, and viability. Medically, a fetus is the unborn entity after the eighth week of development when brain activity becomes detectable, but legally, this term is used in the discussion of abortion as the unborn entity throughout the entire gestation. Gestation being the period of time the fetus develops in the mother’s uterus, which is usually 40 weeks. The forty weeks are sub-divided into trimesters. The first trimester ends after the 12th week, the second ends around the 26th week, and the third trimester ends with birth. Quickening takes place sometime between the thirteenth and twentieth weeks and does the...

Words: 3063 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

The Present and Forward

...The Present and Forward The Parthenon marbles are works of art taken from the Acropolis of Athens by Lord Elgin and brought to England while Greece was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.. Lord Elgin received permission from the Sultan to remove the statues at a price less than what it takes to transport them. Money was not the main motive for Elgin in acquiring them, there were wealthy bidders who attempted to buy them from him but he refused. Once in England many found a great interest in them as well as controversy. Elgin was tried for theft even though Greece's contemporary law had allowed him to remove them. The charges could not hold up in court and he was eventually and rightfully exonerated. After falling into dept Elgin had little choice in but to the British government. I firmly believe the statues should remain in Britain, the opposition might claim that the Greeks have a cultural right to them. But as Appiah argued in chapter 7, the Greeks of the 21st century are no culturally similar to the ancient Greeks than someone in the U.S. They are the descendents of the ancient Greeks after all, but that does not take history into account. The people of Greece only exist today as a result of the past good or bad. Ancient Greece is known for its militant and philosophical way of life; they gained large amounts of wealth from war; should the current Greeks return whatever they can identify as having been gained from war? I don't think they should, instead of living...

Words: 1215 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Death Peanalty

...| Death Penalty: | What’s the problem? | | Michael Stender (14354787) | 11/27/2012 | What is the good of killing our inmates if the violence around us continues to grow more and more out of hand? This paper examines a single perspective of societies position on a difficult but necessary evil. | Death Penalty: Why do so many citizens oppose the death penalty? In today’s society the rate of crime, specifically those that involve crimes which can be tried as a capital punishment cases, continue to increase; domestic killings, predatory crimes against children and innocent victim crimes have all continued to rise; Meanwhile the public’s belief and support in our justice systems ultimate punishment continue to fall. The death penalty although looked at as cruel or inhumane by some, can be viewed as a necessary evil. Society as a whole must feel that our system of laws is protecting us. Locking up non-violent and common criminals and attempting to rehabilitate in order to join society is a continuing effort and with some success. However, most studies have found that an increasing number of prisoners today are repeat offenders with sentences for more violent crimes. A study recently done found that 56% of violent felons are repeat offenders and 61% of all felons are repeat offenders. The study also found that most are being punished outside the walls of prison due to their criminal past. After the inmate is released he’s sent back out to society...

Words: 1701 - Pages: 7