Monday, March 23, 2009

The 8th Amendment -

As with other rights, it is fashionable to only quote part of it. We often hear activists quote the "no cruel and unusual punishment" clause.

Amendment VIII
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

But how often do we hear of multi-million dollar bail being imposed? And Congress has recently voted to impose a 90% tax on certain members of certain corporations, which amounts to excessive fines.

There is little outcry over excessive bail because we usually hear about it when a serial killer is being tried. We don't want him running the streets during his trial, so we aren't all that sympathetic. The answer? No Bail in such a case.

Meanwhile, fringe elements of the world try to argue that all kinds of things are "cruel and unusual punishment." Those things allowed by law in 1790 were clearly not "cruel and unusual" according to the writers of the Bill of Rights, including capital punishment, including the holding of prisoners of war.

"Cruel & Unusual" would be being "drawn and quartered" as was the practice in England. It would include being "racked." It does not mean that prisoners have a right to cable and the internet. They don't.
Tennessee Taylor©2009, TNT, all rights reserved

No comments: