Essay On 8th Amendment

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Many Americans today know the phrase “cruel and unusual punishment”. What they are thinking of when they say this is the Eighth Amendment. This amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment” (U.S. Const. art. I ). The Eighth Amendment allows punishments to be given out justly and fairly according to the crime committed. The concept of the eighth amendment was introduced in the English Bill of Rights Act. Until 1628, a judge in England could sentence someone to jail without bail even being mentioned. This was one of the leading factors that lead to the Petition of Right and after the movement, bail was required for all cases. In order to get around this, judges set bail so high that the defendant could not pay. Parliament then changed the Bill of Rights so that excessive bail could not be set. As for excessive fines, the Supreme Court decided that this phrase was meant to limit fines imposed by the government. “Cruel and unusual punishment” has been the source of much controversy for the Supreme Court. The phrase has been interpreted in many…show more content…
In 1962, it was illegal for any person to be addicted to the use of narcotics, even if there were none found on the person. This is what happened to Lawrence Robinson. He was arrested after evidence was found that he was in fact addicted to narcotics. Officer Brown of the Los Angeles Police Department stated that he had observed scarring and many needle marks near the left elbow of Robinson. This was confirmed by another officer also on the scene of Robinson’s arrest. Robinson first admitted that he had occasionally used drugs, but during his trial, he stated that he had never used narcotics and the marks on his arm had been the result of an allergic reaction he had during his military service. The jury came to the decision that Robinson was guilty of being addicted to

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