Is Waterboarding Cruel And Unusual Punishment? Essay

1841 WordsDec 9, 20168 Pages
The most valued documents in modern American society tend also to be the most heavily debated. For instance, interpretations of the United States Constitution tend to be rooted in one of two firmly entrenched beliefs;while the first camp believes it to be set in stone, the second his convinced that the United States Constitution is by nature a perpetually evolving document, meant to reflect the desires and needs of the people. Even amongst those in the same camp, disagreements abound; those believing that the Constitution is set in stone are divided on issues such as the eighth amendment’s prohibition of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. It is difficult to reach a consensus on what, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. For example, the concept of waterboarding is championed by many as a ‘humane’ form of torture which causes no physical harm. However, it was deemed a cruel and unusual punishment due to the sensations of drowning and symptoms of mental illness which it produced in its victims. It can therefore be inferred that physical injury is not the only factor to be considered in whether or not a practice is to be deemed inhumane; factors such as mental wellbeing and fitness of punishment must also be considered. This leads one to ponder how the concept of solitary confinement could possibly even be considered when it so clearly violates the protections which the eighth amendment provides. Rather than a punishment reserved for murderers and truly dangerous criminals,
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