Knowing Your Constitutional Rights [8]

Amendment 8

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. (X)

What does this mean?

Well, let's take it into parts.

Excessive bail shall not be required[.]

This means that when a person is arrested, the judge cannot set the bail [a set price the person can pay in order to be set free while waiting for their trial] to an outrageously high amount.(X)

The bail amount is determined by 2 things:
‣ How much money the defendant [ person accused ] has.
‣ How likely the person accused is to flee before trial

Easier guide:
‣ IF RICH = price is high
‣ IF POOR/ NOT WEALTHY = price is relatively low (to an amount that is payable)
‣ If the person accused will sprint away into the sunset before trial.

The bail itself guarantees that the person will appear in court for their trial. The bail money is returned to the person after the trial.

Think of the bail amount as being an insurance.

 You pay the bail = you come to court for your trial = you get your bail money back
‣ You pay the bail & DO NOT attend court = you don't get your bail money back

SPEEDY TRANSLATION: The bail set by the judge will not be an unnecessarily high amount so that no one could pay it. (X)

[N]or excessive fines imposed[.]

This means that a person cannot be fined say $34,000 for a speeding ticket.  Essentially - the amount  fined has to match the crime.

[N]or cruel and unusual punishments inflicted[.]

This means that the punishment must match the crime. At the time this Amendment was created, people were burned, whipped etc. for crimes and this section was in this Amendment to prevent that from happening.

The main topic discussed with this last section of the Amendment is if the Death Penalty is considered a cruel and unusual punishment. 

At the time this Amendment was created- the Death Penalty was a commonly used punishment for murder (X).

As of 2017 - the Death Penalty is not considered to be a violation of this Amendment. (X)

Another way of looking at this section of this Amendment would be if say a person is in custody & is in need of medical assistance and the Government Official does not does not call emergency services or make any indication of getting help for said person in custody.

That is be a violation of this Amendment because the result of not having medical assistance harms that person.

To Summarize:
‣ When judge is setting the bail amount, how much money that person has
‣ If bail paid, the judge must also consider if is it likely that the person will run away before trial
‣ The person accused gets their bail money back if they come to their trial
‣ Fine must match crime - i.e. the fine for parking improperly is not a million dollars because that doesn't make sense.
‣ Punishment must match crime

In what ways has President Trump & his Administration done something that pertains to this Amendment:

Nothing at this time.

-If needed this will be updated from time to time.-


Is there an Amendment you would like to know more of?
to be taken to a list & choose which one you would like to learn more about.

This is a series that is ongoing - Each Wednesday [ #WednesdayAmendment ] there will be an Amendment Explanation paired with what Trump & his administration have done that pertains to the Amendment discussed.


Post a Comment