The New Constitution: Amendment XVII – cruel and unusual punishment

The New Constitution

Amendment XVII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Another one today that represents no change, although I’m very open to discussion on the term “cruel and unusual punishment.” This has historically been the center of any number of debates, and it may be time to articulate the concept in less ambiguous language.



Index: The New Constitution Series


  • Sorry. I guess we might as well assume that we’re starting fresh, albeit fully informed by our history.

  • The conceit is “what ought the Bill of Rights look like if we were writing it today?” Considering that some of the original amendments survive untouched and several others are retained and strengthened, I don’t see it as throwing out anything. And I see no need to start over from scratch. The founders had some damned good ideas and much of their wisdom continues to serve us well today.

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