Effects of the 8th Amendment on American Law

Topics: Prison, Capital punishment, Crime Pages: 2 (703 words) Published: January 19, 2009
The Eighth Amendment Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."Ever since the Eighth Amendment was ratified by the states in 1791, it has been a key part of our Constitution. The Eighth Amendment has protected our people from many things, including an overly high bail or "unnatural" punishments. It has ensured that in civil matters, as well as criminal cases, the people of America are protected from an overly high bail and cruel and unusual punishments.

The Eighth Amendment has stirred up many controversies with its many paths of interpretation, in that the U.S. amendments are written down on paper but sometimes not properly enforced. The 8th amendment is the one I favor least and is to be examined during this assignment. I take the double-minded position on the subject of the 8th Amendment of for and against this amendment. Is the Death Penalty an Effective Punishment? In my opinion yes, with at least one important respect, it simply cannot be argued that a killer, once executed, can ever kill again. The crime must fit the punishment in order to justify, and this punishment must not favor anyone on the foundation of color. If this were the case I would without a doubt totally agree with this amendment, however, Studies show that there are racial biases when the death penalty is carried out. Since the resumption of executions in the early 1980's, 40 percent of those executed have been black. And more often than not blacks were more often executed than were whites without having their conviction reviewed by any higher court. The race of the victim and the defendant inevitably influences the decision to seek a death sentence. University of Iowa law professor David Baldus conducted an exhaustive criminal sentencing study in Georgia in the 1980s. He found that prosecutors sought the death penalty for 70% of black defendants with white victims, but only 15% of black defendants with black victims....

Cited: hortall, Joseph M.; Merrill, Denise W. Education Information Resource Center City: Publisher N/A, 1987.
McCLESKEY v. KEMP- 481 U.S. 27 [Ty caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.
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