Eighth Amendment

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Prediction

  1. What do you think the Eighth Amendment means?

  2. Use Eighth Amendment in a sentence.

  3. List an example of the Eighth Amendment in current events:

  4. Find (or draw) an image of the Eighth Amendment:

Fast Facts

Definition

Eighth Amendment: The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” This amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing unduly harsh penalties on criminal defendants, either as the price for obtaining pretrial release or as punishment for crime after conviction.

Sentence

Because of the Eighth Amendment, the punishment must fit the crime and the federal government is constitutionally prohibited from imposing overly harsh punishments such as torture or forcing anyone to watch Dirty Grandpa (2016).

Example

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Excessive Fines in Property Confiscation Case

Image

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Video

 Questions

  1. What makes a punishment “cruel”?

  2. Who decides the meaning of “cruel”?

  3. What punishment was ruled unconstitutional -for four years - based on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 8th Amendment in Furman v. Georgia?

  4. Timbs v. Indiana incorporated the Excessive Fines Clause of the VIII Amendment on February 20, 2019. What does “incorporated,” mean?

  5. Explain whether you believe the following image is a result of the VIII Amendment.

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AP Studio Art

Now draw the Eighth Amendment! Take 10 or 20 seconds. That’s all you need. Nothing fancy. Don’t expect a masterpiece. Draw with symbols or stick figures if you wish. Now Look at your drawing. You’ve got it. That’s all.