The Eighth Amendment is the fourth consecutive amendment that protects the rights of the accused. The amendment can be broken down into three clauses: Excessive Bail, Excessive Fines, and Cruel and Unusual Punishments. The imprecise wording of the amendment leaves much interpretation up to the courts. Over time they have decided, and re-decided, what the terms excessive, cruel, and unusual all mean.
The text of this amendment reads, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”