The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishment. This amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted as part of the Bill of Rights in 1791, which outlines fundamental rights the government must protect.
Excessive Bail and Fines
The first part of the Eighth Amendment forbids the government from setting excessive bail or fines. Bail is the amount of money that must be paid to release an arrested individual from jail before their trial. Fines are monetary penalties levied against an individual who has committed a crime.
The government must set reasonable bail and fines that do not impose an unreasonable financial burden on the individual. If the bail or fines are excessive, it may be considered a violation of the Eighth Amendment; it can lead to debt, poverty and further legal trouble.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The second part of the Eighth Amendment says that the government cannot punish people in cruel or unusual ways. This means that cruel or humiliating punishments, like torture or humiliating someone in public, are not allowed.
Examples of Eighth Amendment Violations
There have been several cases of Eighth Amendment violations in the United States.
One example is the case of Estelle v. Gamble (1976), in which an inmate in a Texas prison was denied medical treatment for a severe medical condition. The Supreme Court ruled that the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights had been violated, saying that ignoring a prisoner’s serious medical needs on purpose is causing them pain without a good reason.
Another example is the case of Furman v. Georgia (1972), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty, as it was being applied at the time, violated the Eighth Amendment. It found that the death penalty was being used randomly and arbitrarily, which led to African American defendants getting more death sentences than white defendants.
Consulting a Civil Rights Lawyer About the Eight Amendment
At Harman Law Firm, we believe every individual has the right to fair treatment. If you or someone else has been a victim of an Eighth Amendment violation, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced attorneys can help defend your legal rights and pursue justice.
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