123 Go To Section: 4 Learning Objectives: Punishment S E C T I O N 4 Learning Objectives: Punishment What is the purpose of bail and preventive detention What is the Court’s interpretation of cruel and unusual punishment What is the history of the Court’s decisions of capital punishment What is treason Chapter 20, Section
123 Go To Section: 4 Bail and Preventative Detention Chapter 20, Section Bail is a sum of money that the accused may be required to deposit with the court as a guarantee that he or she will appear in court. The Constitution does not guarantee that all accused persons are entitled to bail, just that the amount of the bail cannot be excessive. Preventive detention is a law that allows federal judges to order that accused felons be held without bail if there is a danger that the person will commit another crime if released. Critics think preventive detention amounts to presuming the accused guilty. The Court upheld the law in United States v. Salerno, 1987.
123 Go To Section: 4 Guided Reading Bail and Preventive Detention 1. Every person accused of a crime must be allowed to set his or her own bail. Every person accused of a crime is not automatically granted bail; bail is set by the court. 2. The Supreme Court rejected preventive detention in Stack v. Boyle, The Court upheld preventive detention in United States v. Salerno, 1987.
123 Go To Section: 4 Cruel and Unusual Punishment The 8th Amendment also forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” The Supreme Court extended the provision to the States in Robinson v. California, The 8th Amendment is intended to prevent, in the Court’s opinion, barbaric tortures such as drawing and quartering and other excessively cruel punishments. The Supreme Court held that defining narcotics addiction as a crime, rather than an illness, was cruel and unusual in Robinson v. California, In Estelle v. Gamble, 1976, it ruled that a prison inmate could not be denied medical care. However, generally the Court has not found many punishments to be cruel and unusual. Chapter 20, Section
123 Go To Section: 4 Guided Reading Cruel and Unusual Punishment 3. The 6th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and the 13th Amendment extends that prohibition to the States. The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th Amendment extends that prohibition to the States. 4. The Supreme Court has ruled that death by firing squad is cruel and unusual. The Supreme Court has ruled that death by firing squad is not cruel or unusual.
123 Go To Section: 4 Capital Punishment The Supreme Court voided capital punishment laws in the early 1970s because it felt that the punishment was applied “capriciously” to only a few convicts, often African American or poor or both. However, in 1976, the Court held for the first time that a new law which instituted the death penalty was NOT unconstitutional. The new law provided for a two-stage trial process. One trial would determine guilt or innocence, and a second hearing would decide whether the death penalty was warranted. The Court later restricted the use of the death penalty to cases where the victim died. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is hotly debated under the 8th Amendment. Despite these decisions, debate still surrounds the issue. Chapter 20, Section
123 Go To Section: 4 Guided Reading Capital Punishment 5. Thirty States have capital punishment laws. Thirty-eight States have capital punishment laws. 6. A State can impose the death penalty only for crimes resulting in excessive cruelty to the victim. A State can impose the death penalty only for crimes resulting in the death of the victim.
123 Go To Section: 4Treason Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution. Treason is: 1. Levying war against the United States or 2. Giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. A person can only commit treason in times of war, and it is punishable by the death penalty. Other related acts, such as sabotage or espionage, can be committed in peacetime. John Brown, who was hanged as a traitor to Virginia because of his raid on Harper’s Ferry, is the only person ever to be executed for treason against a State. Chapter 20, Section
123 Go To Section: 4 Guided Reading Treason 7. Treason is the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution because the Framers knew that its meaning would be lost with time. Treason is the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution because the Framers knew that this charge is often used by tyrants to silence their opponents. 8. A person can be convicted of treason if there is one eyewitness to the treasonous act. A person can be convicted of treason if there are two eyewitnesses to the treasonous act or there is a confession in open court.
123 Go To Section: 4 Guided Reading KEY TERMS bail 11. money an accused person must deposit with the court to guarantee an appearance at trial preventive detention 10. holding the accused without bail when there is reason to believe the accused will commit serious crimes before trial capital punishment 12. the death penalty treason 8. levying war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies
123 Go To Section: 4 Section 4 Review 1. Bail is (a) a fine you have to pay if you are arrested. (b) a tax to support jails. (c) a deposit you put down to guarantee appearance in court. (d) a contract between the State and a prisoner. 2. Treason is (a) the only crime defined in the Constitution.. (b) punishable by death. (c) committed only in wartime. (d) all of the above. Chapter 20, Section 4 Want to connect to the Magruder’s link for this section? Click Here!Click Here!