8th Amendment

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

What does this mean...?

The 8th Amendment states that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Let's make this a bit easier...

If you were to steal a mango from your local supermarket and get caught, you would not receive the same punishment as someone who killed someone nor would your bail be as excessive.

Why is this a part of the Bill of Rights?

The case of Titus Oates

The eighth amendment was inspired by the case of Titus Oates. After the ascension of King James ll he was tried for perjury which had caused many executions of people whom Oates had wrongly accused. Oates was sentenced to imprisonment including an annual ordeal of being taken out for two days pillory plus one day of whipping while tied to a moving cart.

Why is this important?

Helps promote the idea of being innocent until proven guilty and the idea that a person cannot be given a punishment until he or she is accused/convicted. Also, one cannot be given an excessive punishment that doesn't fit the crime that he or she has committed. It makes sure that you get treated fairly in trial.