Eighth and Ninth Amendments

We’ve finished the original Constitution and the first seven amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Eighth and Ninth Amendments. Both are very brief, so we’ll consider them together.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.

ARTICLE VIII.

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

It was not uncommon in the monarchies of the day for people to be held in prison unreasonably by the use of impossibly large fines or bail, and the use of cruel and unusual punishment was fairly routine. The forefathers wanted to be sure our citizens were protected against such abuses of power.

When I read about particularly horrendous murders or perverts raping young children, I sometimes wish we could have cruel and unusual punishment to fit their crimes, but that’s not a serious desire. I’m glad we have these protections.

ARTICLE IX.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This statement seems obvious, but it was necessary to be sure our rights as citizens were not limited.

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Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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