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Unformatted text preview: Exam III Study Guide Lesson 7: Cruel and Unusual Punishment Cruel and Unusual Punishment Torture does not equal Cruel and Unusual Punishment Torture is usually done to get information about a crime, not as a punishment. 5 th Amendment Due Process Clause Applies to people in the territorial US, even if they are not US citizens. 8 th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment Has been very broadly incorporated Requires that punishment be both cruel AND unusual Punishment can be unusual (ex: uncommon) but not unconstitutional If a punishment is cruel and yet common, it can still be unusual in the sense that it is unjust or excessive (arbitrary). Robinson v. California (1962) Facts: CA statute made it a criminal offense for a person to be addicted to the use of narcotics. Lawrence Robinson was convicted under the law, which required a sentence of at least 90 days in jail State appellate court affirmed Robinsons conviction on appeal Issue: Was the CA law an infliction of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the 8 th Amendment? Decision: 6-2 in favor of Robinson , written by Stewart Legal provision = 8 th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Reasoning: Court held that laws imprisoning persons afflicted with the illness of narcotics addiction inflicted cruel and unusual punishment in violation o the 8 th and 14 th Amendments. Court likened law to one making it a criminal offense to be mentally ill, or a leper, or to be afflicted with a venereal disease, and argued that state could not punish persons merely because of their status of addiction Court noted that the law was not aimed at the purchase, sale, or possession of illegal drugs. Background of Death Penalty In 1972 looked like DP was dying out 5 years since anyone has been executed. Furman v. Georgia was just decided. In 1976 the USSC had changed More conservative justices Reinstated the Death Penalty There is no mandatory Death Penalty, and no Death Penalty strictly for rape. 1980s: Cant put to death anyone under 16 , but 16 and 17 can get it. 1990s: You can put mentally retarded to death 2000 Death Penalty Fading Cant put to death anyone under 18 (Simmons case) or Mentally Retarded (Adkins case) Furman v. Georgia (1971) *Right around when DP started to die out Facts : Furman burglarized a home and a family member discovered him. He attempted to flee, and in doing so he tripped and fell. Gun he was carrying went off and killed a resident of the home. Convicted of murder and sentenced to death Two other DP cases were decided along with Furman: Jackson v. Georgia Concerns constitutionality of death sentence for rape Branch v. Texas Concerns constitutionality of death sentence for murder Question : Does the imposition and carrying out of DP in these cases constitute Cruel and...
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