8th Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The 8th Amendment, to the United States, is the part of the United States Bill of Rights prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment.


James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, wrote the 8th Amendment in 1789 as one of the first 10 amendments collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The 8th amendment about Imposing Excessive and Cruel Punishment was ratified on December 15, 1791.

So what is considered cruel and unusual punishment?

Punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution includes torture, deliberately degrading punishment, or punishment that is too severe for the crime committed.

So why is the 8th Amendment important to us?

The 8th Amendment is important because it protects the individual from excessive bail or fines, and from “cruel and unusual punishments.” The “cruel and unusual punishments” clause has been the most important and the most widely debated among society.