By Jasmine Caputo, Red Class
The 8th Amendment

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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

The 8th Amendment means that it is against the Constitution to give an outrageous bail or fine someone more than necessary. Also that punishments that are too extreme or unnecessary are against the Constitution. 
"When a juvenile commits aheinous crime, the State canexact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties, but the State cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity."
ANTHONY KENNEDY, judicial opinion on Roper v. Simmons, Mar. 1, 2005
This quote is saying that when someone commits a crime, the State can take away most of their basic liberties or rights but they can't decide to take away his life or possible potential. This person does not believe in the death penalty and thinks it is considered "cruel and unusual punishment".

This cartoon illustrates the point of the 8th amendment; that you shouldn't be overly fined or punished for an action that is unworthy of the crime, such as receiving cruel and unusual punishment for something like cheating on a test.

How Much Relevance does the 8th Amendment have today?

Even centuries after the amendments were made, the 8th amendment is still a big part in court cases today. The 8th amendment was always changing; changing with the definition of what “cruel and unusual” punishment is. Its recently been argued whether the death penalty would be going against this amendment for cruel and unusual punishment. Most considered that only murder should result in the death penalty, while others find it wrong to punish someone for death with death. Some states approve of it, but others get rid of it all together, such as New Jersey. As of today, thirty-five states have the death penalty while 15 have gotten rid of it.There has also been the issue of whether people are innocent or not, and today there are ways of testing whether someone is or isn’t innocent. “The death penalty has wrongfully been given to so many people who’ve later been proved innocent because of DNA. Innocent people should never be executed,” said Professor Joseph Dillon Davey.

^^States with Death Penalty