The American Criminal Justice System Essay

2080 Words Nov 14th, 2016 9 Pages
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind” were the words of the wise Mahatma Gandhi. In no where else is this more so proven than in the American criminal justice system. Our definition of justice is often measured by how long a sentence or how large a fine is and how it relates to the corresponding crime. Some people can get prison time, fines, and even sentenced to death as a punishment for the crimes they have committed. This state sponsored death as punishment is a tactic used to frighten and intimidate people into not committing crimes, but this type of punishment goes directly against the 8th amendment right, directly prohibiting the cruel and unusual punishment, despite the generations separating their respective implementations.

The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the rights of the people, giving them the natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to property as seen in the Declaration of Independence written by John Locke. Within the constitution, the 8th amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” (source), however, this is unconstitutional considering the death penalty is a cruel and unusual form of punishment, yet legal in 31 states in the United States. The price of one life can not be repaid by killing another, so given the power to make one constitutional amendment, I would repeal the 8th amendment via an additional…

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