Bill of Rights: Article VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

As far as I’m concerned, the Eighth Amendment is all about capital punishment and torture. Beheading, hanging, lethal injection, water boarding, sad to say, may not be unusual, but they are cruel. Capital punishment is the height of hypocrisy for a civilized society.

The debate about capital punishment revolves around rhetoric as to the most humane way to take a life. An answer to the latter question has not been forthcoming and never will be - there is nothing humane about taking a life! The number of condemned “murderers” declared innocent by virtue of DNA testing have all served to highlight the pitfalls of the death penalty.

Torture in recent years has been justified as a means to get information vital to national security. Once again, we are asked to turn our heads the other way as the intelligence agencies compromise the Bill of Rights for our own good.

Fortunately, capital punishment and torture no longer get a free ride. The day will come when both will be found in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

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