The Eighth Amendment: Bail and Punishment
In This Chapter
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
The Eighth Amendment’s vague language has led to confusing and conflicting court rulings over the years, especially with shifts in society’s standards and the makeup of the Supreme Court. What does “excessive” mean? What is “cruel and unusual”? And do the standards apply differently to different types of defendants? Children? People with mental disabilities?
In particular, there’s been ...