The 8th Amendment of United States Constitution reads, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” There is no argument that “shall not be” applies to all three clauses. If only we could be so clear about what punishments approach or exceed this standard. In 1962,¬†Robinson v. California,¬†370 U.S. 660, SCOTUS extended the 8th Amendment to the States through the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
So there you have it, aside from grotesque mutilations and a slow death, we currently have a perfectly ambiguous and subjective standard that continues to be abused by the U.S. Government. First, I am motivated to address this issue after reading this morning about P.F.C. Bradley Manning, and his 1,000 days of military detention, for much of the time in brutal conditions.
Bradley Manning’s 1,000th Day in Jail – The Guardian UK. ¬†Second, I am sickened anytime I read anything about an American¬†super-max¬†prison, and felt it was time to put my thoughts to writing. Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to include the extraordinary rendition¬†and¬†enhanced interrogation techniques¬†of the¬†George W. Bush administration.
SOURCE: Criminal Justice Program