The ignored amendment."Excessive bail excessive bail n. an amount of bail ordered posted by an accused defendant which is much more than necessary or usual to assure he/she will make court appearances, particularly in relation to minor crimes. shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments Such punishment as would amount to torture or barbarity, any cruel and degrading punishment not known to the Common Law, or any fine, penalty, confinement, or treatment that is so disproportionate to the offense as to shock the moral sense of the community. inflicted; states the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Jessica Hodges would almost certainly say that we're no longer paying much attention to the prohibition on excessive fines. Washington Post writer Jonathan Mummolo describes her case:
The labor pains were coming, so Jessica Hodges got going. The 26-year-old bank teller from Burke, Virginia, sped toward Inova Fairfax Hospital, but before she got there, the law got her--57 mph in a 35 zone. Reckless driving.
Hodges was found guilty and fined $1,050, plus a judge-imposed $100 fine and court costs court costs n. fees for expenses that the courts pass on to attorneys, who then pass them on to their clients or, in some kinds of cases, to the losing party. .
"It's crazy," said an unrepentant Hodges. "Having a baby's more important. Of course I'm going to speed."
In a world with more common sense, the cops would have provided a police escort to the hospital, rather than a ticket. As it is Hodges won't have an easy time paying the bill, as Mummolo describes:
She and her husband, Jeff, a massage therapist, barely go out and are living basically week to week to support 17-month-old Madison and infant Alessandra, born July 19. If the appeal is denied, her husband will probably have to work overtime.
If Hodges and her husband end up buying a six pack to unwind from the three jobs and two babies, 44 percent of the cost of their beer in Virginia will be due to hidden and direct taxes.
The newly increased traffic fines, ranging from $750 to $3,000, were passed earlier this year by Virginia's General Assembly as part of a package to pay for a slew of new transportation projects.
"I'm getting out of here," said Hodges, "before I have to pay for any new roads."
More "excessive" in terms of fines, the penalties for sexual harassment sexual harassment, in law, verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, aimed at a particular person or group of people, especially in the workplace or in academic or other institutional settings, that is actionable, as in tort or under equal-opportunity statutes. in the workplace under the Civil Rights Act of 1991 include punitive damages Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer. of up to $300,000 per incident (Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) wanted the price to be $1 million per incident.)
The $300,000 potential tab per incident can be triggered by an alleged victim's perception of having been subjected to unwanted speech, jokes, gestures, romantic pursuits, looks, attitudes, and so forth, or by a perception of having been subjected to condescension, defamation, or exclusion.
With six jokes and two unwanted glances worth a potential $2.4 million, the legal maneuver to get fines to the "excessive" level is to keep a diary and document each incident, rather than reporting the problem for a quicker and less litigious litigious adj. referring to a person who constantly brings or prolongs legal actions, particularly when the legal maneuvers are unnecessary or unfounded. Such persons often enjoy legal battles, controversy, the courtroom, the spotlight, use the courts to punish solution.
Under the rules, businesses and other organizations can be held liable even when they aren't aware that a problem exists.
Equally excessive, the Federal Communications Commission's maximum fine for indecency INDECENCY. An act against good behaviour and a just delicacy. 2 Serg. & R. 91.
2. The law, in general, will repress indecency as being contrary to good morals, but, when the public good requires it, the mere indecency of disclosures does not suffice to exclude just went up tenfold, to $325,000 per incident. The new rules authorize the FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. to fine a broadcaster as much as $3 million per day for multiple instances of alleged indecency.
With the section of the Eighth Amendment prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishments," William James Rummel might well say that we've lost our way.
Rummel was sentenced to life imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. in Texas (with eligibility for parole in twelve years, but with no guarantee of parole) for three nonviolent and minor offenses--the fraudulent use of a credit card to obtain $80 worth of goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. in 1964, passing a forged check in the amount of $28.36 in 1969, and obtaining $120.75 by false pretenses False representations of material past or present facts, known by the wrongdoer to be false, and made with the intent to defraud a victim into passing title in property to the wrongdoer. in 1973.
Citing precedent, that is to say, itself, the Supreme Court rejected Rummel's argument that his life sentence was a violation of the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishments by pointing to a 1912 case, Graham v. West Virginia, in which the Supreme Court rejected an Eighth Amendment claim from a horse thief who had been sentenced to life imprisonment after stealing three horses--one horse at a time, in 1898, 1901, and 1907.
In 1958 Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that the Eighth Amendment "must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."
The evolution is slow. It wasn't until 2002 that the Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that executions of mentally retarded criminals are cruel and unusual punishments and therefore a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University Robert Morris' sports teams are nicknamed the Colonials and the school colors are blue and white. The Colonials compete in NCAA Division I (Division I-AA in football). The most well-known athlete to come out of Robert Morris University is Hank Fraley of the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. in Pittsburgh.