Public Administration Eighth Amendment the Term Paper

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CIV S-90-0520 LKK JFM P, 2009 WL 2430820 (E.D.

Cal. Aug. 4, 2009). (2010). Harvard Law Review, 123(3), p.752-759.

This article discusses the civil rights case Coleman v. Schwarzenegger wherein the plaintiff sued California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for unconstitutional prison conditions. The lawsuit was examined in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA). The court ruled that authorities should conduct an assessment on the impact of prisoner's release on public safety as long as inmate reduction measures are concerned.

Eight Amendment -- Death Penalty- Missouri Supreme Court Holds that the Juvenile Death

Penalty Violates the Eight Amendment. - State ex rel. Simmons v. Roper, 112 S.W.3d

(Mo. 2003) (en banc), cert. granted, 124 S. Ct. 1171 (2004). Harvard Law Review,

117(7), p.2456-2461.

This article looks at the decision of the Missouri Supreme Court on the case State ex rel. Simmons vs. Roper which held that the juvenile death penalty comprises cruel and unusual punishment and thus violates the 8th Amendment. There is also an examination in this article in regards to the doctrine of the U.S. Supreme Court as it relates to the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. It looks at the facts of the case, citations of related cases, arguments of the parties to the case and the foundation of the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling.

Steiker, Carol S. And Steiker, Jordan M. (2010). Graham Lets the Sun Shine in: The Supreme

Court Opens a Window Between Two Formerly Walled-Off Approaches to Eighth

Amendment Proportionality Challenges. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 23(1), p. 79-86.

This article examines the interaction of the U.S. Supreme Court's capital and non-capital proportionality doctrines. It talks about the degree to which the decision in the case Graham v. Florida provides the opportunity for a review of life-without-parole (LWOP) sentences, excessive non-capital punishment, and excessive punishment for minor convicts. Also considered is whether the decision in Graham v. Florida calls for a reformulation of the proportionality doctrine.

Markel, Dan. (2009). Executing Retributivism: Panetti and the Future of the Eighth Amendment.

Northwestern University Law Review, 103(3), p.1163-1222.

This article talks about the principle of retributive punishment as a communicative action. It cites the case of Panetti v. Quarterman where the U.S. Supreme Court determined that only defendants who understand why they are being executed are fit for capital punishment. It suggests that the retributivist reasoning in the said case brings a new period of optimism among death penalty skeptics. It concludes that if the Supreme Court implements the retributivist ideals instead of doing violence to them, a more justly applied Eighth Amendment can be hoped for.

Dolovich, Sharon. Cruelty, Prison Conditions, and the Eighth Amendment. New York University

Law Review, 84(4), p.881-979.

This article looks at the Eighth Amendment and how it forbids cruel and unusual punishment. It is the normal force that develops chiefly from its utilization of the word cruel for this exclusion to be significant in a society where imprisonment is the main mode of criminal sentence. It is essential to figure out when prison conditions are cruel. Yet the Supreme Court has thus far kept away from this issue, instead holding in Farmer v, Brennan that unless some prison official truly knew of and ignored a considerable risk of serious injury to prisoners, prison circumstances are not punishment within the sense of the Eighth Amendment. This article shows that all state prison circumstances should be recognized to comprise punishment for Eighth Amendment purposes. With this in mind, this article first looks at the notion of when prison conditions are cruel, by bearing in mind as a normal matter what the state is doing when it imprisons convicted people as punishment and what compulsion it thereby incurs toward its prisoners. This article then turns to the notion of constitutional implementation and believes what doctrinal standards would best detain this understanding of cruel circumstances.

The Eighth Amendment, Proportionality, and the Changing Meaning of "Punishments." Harvard

Law Review, 122(3), p.960-981.

This article analyzes the cruel and unusual punishment element of the Eight Amendment. It mentions that some historians and a minority of the court have been questioning the historical argument that the clause requires proportional punishment and ban cruel method of punishment in the public punishment system. It relates that Justice Antonin Scalia contends that the founding fathers in regards to the Eight Amendments recognize the language, cruel and unusual, to relate only to definite barbarous method of penalty. It presents an analysis of the original understanding of the clause and the claims of Justice Scalia that Framers created the clause as a ban on particular method of punishment. It discusses the difference in the meaning of the clause at the time of the founding and the new system of punishment.

Section VII: Summary

The eighth amendment has been developing ever since its inception in 1791. Since the founding fathers did not supply a definition as to what exactly constituted excessive and cruel and unusual, this definition has changed as society as changed over time. This notion will more than likely continue to happen as time goes by and as new Courts interpret the amendment as they see fit.


Adelman, Stanley E. (n.d.). Supreme Court Bans Death Penalty for Under -- 18 Offenders.

Retrieved January 14, 2011, from

Eighth Amendment. (2011). Retrieved January 14, 2011, from Web site:

Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2011, from Book Rags Web site:

Schwartz, Bernard. (1992). The Great Rights of Mankind: A History of the American Bill of Rights. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

What is the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? (2011). Retrieved January 14, 2011, from Wisegeek Web site:[continue]

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