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Christopher E. Smith

In: Corrections

Chapter 3: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Cruel and unusual punishment

The prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments is presented in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Eighth Amendment is one of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791 to protect individuals against potentially excessive actions by the federal government. The American authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights borrowed the phrase “cruel and unusual punishments” from the English Bill of Rights of 1689, a statute enacted by the British Parliament. In the United States, the meaning and specific nature of protections provided by the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment are defined by judges, especially the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Over the course of ...

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