Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Eighth Amendment

On this day, Supreme Court temporarily finds death penalty unconstitutional

June 29, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On June 29, 1972, the Court decided in a complicated ruling, Furman v. Georgia, that the death penalty application in three cases was unconstitutional. The Court clarified that ruling in 1976, putting the death penalty back on the books under different circumstances.

The changing narrative on the death penalty

April 15, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Contributor Lyle Denniston looks at how the core meaning of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” could be changing.

Supreme Court confirms Excessive Fines Clause applies to states

February 20, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

In a unanimous ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned an Indiana Supreme Court decision that said that part of federal Constitution’s Eighth Amendment didn’t apply to the states.

On this day, the English Bill of Rights makes a powerful statement

February 13, 2019 By NCC Staff

On February 13, 1689, Parliament in London allows two new monarchs to take the throne if they honor the rights of English citizens. What became known as the English Bill of Rights was an important influence on the later American Constitution.

Supreme Court redefines intellectual disability

March 28, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

While still insisting that state governments do not have to follow exactly all of the medical community's standards for defining intellectual disability of criminal suspects, a divided Supreme Court on Tuesday narrowed even further states' option to create their own standards when deciding who is eligible to be executed for murder.

The Supreme Court makes progress on a death penalty project

November 29, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

Constitution Daily Supreme Court correspondent Lyle Denniston reports on Tuesday's arguments about a death penalty case involving an intellectually disabled defendant in Texas.

The Supreme Court sends mixed signal on Hurst ruling’s meaning

August 10, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

On Monday, the Supreme Court turned aside a plea to require jurors to satisfy the toughest legal test before they may vote to impose the death penalty, rejecting a new attempt by lawyers to further define an important Sixth Amendment ruling.

A look at three new cases headed to the Supreme Court

June 10, 2016 By Joshua Waimberg

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court added three cases to its docket for the Court’s next term. Two of the newly granted cases take on issues surrounding the death penalty, while the other case involves state legislature redistricting.

Constitution Check: In deciding who may be executed, can judges ignore medical advances?

June 7, 2016 By Lyle Denniston

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, says a death penalty case accepted by the Supreme Court offers a puzzle: Just when is it appropriate to turn a constitutional question into a cultural issue to be mediated by private institutions?

Supreme Court rules in major Eighth Amendment sentencing case

January 26, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana, one of two cases heard in October that involve the Eighth Amendment.

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