Cruel And Unusual Punishment In The United States

Decent Essays

The 8th amendment of the United States Constitution states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Specifically, the idea of cruel and unusual punishment has been a topic of dispute since its inception. Although the United States practiced execution as a punishment beforehand, “the Supreme Court did not address the death penalty issue until 1972.” It is often debated how we are to define cruel and unusual because of the vague nature of the terms. Because it is thought that the terms were kept vague in order to keep up with new forms of cruel and unusual punishment that would come into being after the constitution was written, the standards for determining what is cruel and unusual has been set by “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” meaning that it changes depending on what our society deems decent or indecent at the time. The problem is that our society has always been split on this issue. Whether it involves the death penalty or the quality of prisoner confinement, some hold the opinion that these people deserve to be treated as less than human because of the crimes they have committed. Others vehemently disagree saying that everyone, no matter what they’ve done, deserves to be treated as humanely as possible. Those of this opinion are generally opposed to the death penalty. For future interpretation of this facet of our constitution, the cruel and

Get Access