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Defending Bill of Rights

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Defending the Bill of Rights

What if someone kidnapped, raped, and killed your younger sister? What would you do? I'm sure you would do what any other person would do given the circumstances; aid authorities to catch the killer. You implement any task necessary to capture the malicious murderer. Eventually, the suspect would be apprehended. He would then be incarcerated, reprimanded for his actions, and released back into society. Would this kind of reaction to such a heinous crime be an acceptable consequence? Now, suppose a man was driving under the influence of alcohol and hit a tree; no one was injured and it was his first offense. The police would arrive, arrest him, take him down to the station, and hold him for $500,000 bond.

While both of the previous scenarios may have occurred, their punishments are not realistic outcomes. The United States government believes that the punishment passed down fit the crime that was committed. A murderer does not deserve a slap on the wrist and then to be released back into society. It is equally unreasonable to issue a $500,000 bond to someone who was issued his first DUI and didn't injure anyone.

Amendment Eight of the Bill of Rights states, "excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." This amendment is fundamental in the country we live in. Removal of such a law would allow an intense reign of partiality within this nation.

If this amendment was abolished, crime sentencing could result in somewhat of an auction. Envision jury members proposing outcomes for the criminal's sentence. The judge shouts, "One year in prison, do I hear five years?" as they strike the gavel to manage the process. Could you visualize the chaos and mayhem that would result? There would be no guidelines to follow, and whatever the judge felt adequate at the time would be acceptable.

Abolition of this law would allow discrimination and chauvinistic actions to flourish. For example, a male judge might make a ruling less harsh for a female because he finds her attractive. A verdict could depend on the judge's prejudice towards a specific race, religious affiliation, or even an individual's age. It would be an incredible iniquitous system of crime and punishment, if Amendment Eight was no longer part of our constitution.

Recently, an example of cruel and unusual punishment has filtered through news and brought attention to the Eighth Amendment. In particular, the Abu Ghraib prison camp near Baghdad, Iraq. United States soldiers were photographed performing immoral tasks. Detainees within the camp were beaten with brooms, had phosphoric liquid dumped on them, and had cold water poured on their naked bodies. Prisoners were paraded on leashes and threatened with rape.

Dehumanization such as this is intolerable. Iraq and the other Arab countries endorse strong



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