Eighth Amendment

Hami Tran

Eighth Amendment From the Constitution

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment in My Own Words

Your punishment that you received should match the crime you committed. The government has no rights to over-fine your bails or over- fine you in general. The punishment can't be done in a cruel or unusual way either.

Historical Background & Origin of the Eight Amendment

Issuing bail to criminals went as far back as the seventh century in England. During the 600s, a person who's accused of murder is required to pay a certain amount of money to the victim's family. It's also known as a bohr. The bohr is returned if the defendant is declared innocent. This specific amendment is included in the Constitution to prevent excessive bails and fines. The government can't take advantage of you. The fines should only be charged if the person committed a legit crime. The eighth amendment is basically for the fairness to the criminals and defendants. People should be punished accordingly to the crime that they committed.

Supreme Court Case Background

Inappropriate Fines (1998)

United v.s. Banjakajian

Hosep Banjakajian was pleaded guilty for attempting to leave the United States border with $357,144 without letting the authorities know. You are required to give the government or authorities a notice that you're carrying more than $10,000 out of the U.S.A. The government argued that Bajakajian and his wife should forfeit or give up all of the money that they carried with them. Though, the trial court and Supreme Court had a different't punishment in mind.



The Court's Decision & It's Rationale

The trial court only fined Banjakajian $15,000. The government took it to the Supreme Court, and they declared that forcing them to gibe up $357,144 would violate the excessive fines law. The Supreme Court's decision to not force Banjakajian to give up his money. The extensive of that punishment shouldn't be necessary. The fine is considered to be "too much" for the minor crime he committed. The government would be violating the eighth amendment for charging inappropriate or excessive fines.



Citation

"Eighth Amendment." Constitutional Amendments: From Freedom of Speech to Flag Burning. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2008. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.

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Visual Representation

The criminal is thanking the officer for putting up his bail for $300, but the officer said that he shouldn't thank him, thank the eighth amendment. Without the eighth amendment, the bail could be overly-fined, and not "only" $300.