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Cruel and Unusual Punishment What Does That Mean??

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Presentation on theme: "Cruel and Unusual Punishment What Does That Mean??"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cruel and Unusual Punishment What Does That Mean??

2 Was the malfunctioning electric chair cruel and unusual?

3 No! The Constitution protects against a cruel method of execution. Just because an accident happened the first time does not make the method cruel. Nobody intended to cause the prisoner to suffer unnecessary pain. Louisiana ex. rel. Francis v. Resweber

4 Was the wooden paddle cruel and unusual?

5 No! The 8 th Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment is limited to punishment for crimes. Unlike prisons, schools are open to the public. Unlike prisoners, students have friends and teachers who see what is going on.

6 No! If a school goes to far in punishing a student, it could be sued, or the teacher could face criminal charges. There is no need for 8 th Amendment protection in schools. Ingraham v. Wright

7 Was not doing an X-Ray cruel and unusual?

8 No! It is cruel and unusual punishment if a prison purposely ignores a prisoner’s serious injury or illness, because that would inflict unnecessary suffering and pain. In this case, the prisoner saw the doctor many times. He was treated for his back injury as well as other medical problems. It may have been bad medical judgment for the doctor not to perform an X-ray, but that is not cruel and unusual punishment. Estelle v. Gamble

9 Was it cruel and unusual for the judge to give the death penalty without looking at the boy’s troubled past?

10 yes! Before sentencing someone to death for a crime, it is important to make sure that death is the appropriate punishment. A judge cannot refuse to consider special circumstances that would affect whether the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for the crime. Eddings v. Oklahoma

11 Was it cruel and unusual for the state law to allow the death penalty but prohibit looking at special circumstances?

12 yes! Before sentencing someone to death for a crime, it is important to make sure that death is the appropriate punishment. There cannot be a law that stops the judge from considering special circumstances that affect whether the death penalty is appropriate for the crime. Bell v. Ohio

13 Was it cruel and unusual to give the death penalty to someone under 18?

14 yes! A person under the age of 18 deserves less punishment than an adult. Teenagers are less experienced, less disciplined, and more vulnerable than adults. They respond more to peer pressure, and they have more potential to grow and change. It is cruel and unusual punishment to give the death penalty to a person under 18. Roper v. Simmons

15 Was beating up the prisoner cruel and unusual if the injuries were not serious?

16 yes! Prison guards may have to use force to keep order, but they are not allowed to hurt prisoners on purpose. If prison guards maliciously use force to cause harm, they violate the 8 th Amendment. It doesn’t matter whether the prisoner’s injuries are serious or not. Hudson v. McMillian

17 Is second-hand smoke cruel and unusual?

18 MAYBE! Prison officials may not ignore a condition that could lead to serious health problems. If a prisoner was locked in his cell with a heavy smoker against his will, that could violate the 8 th amendment. In this case, the prisoner was no longer in a cell with a heavy smoker. Also, the prison had a policy to respect the wishes of non-smokers. Helling v. McKinney (But not in this case)


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