Cruel and Unusual Essay

Cruel and Unusual Essay

Cruel and Unusual Essay

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After reading the article answer the embedded critical think question at the end of the article. They may carry over to the next page. All submissions must be in your own words. Do not copy your responses straight from the article, this is considered plagiarism. This is a 25 point assignment. Each response to each question should be a minimum of 5-7 sentences.

Spirituality would serve as an essential concept in the provision of care for patients because of its crucial role in helping people who believe in its effectiveness to overcome the struggles of their illness. As a healthcare practitioner, I consider the philosophical belief of the patients that forms their spiritual perspectives as essential for making the treatment given to the work since the physical and mental are connected and work in harmony. For example, a patient who believes in praying before doing anything as part of the spiritual routine should be allowed to do so in the healthcare setting whenever he or she wants to engage in the activity. Also, patient care in the current system is defined by the willingness of the practitioner to show respect and understanding of the philosophical perspective of the individual as part of the ethical duty of respect for autonomy. Therefore, the concept of spirituality would play a large role in my care for patients since it functions as part of the framework that they consider useful for restoring their health and wellbeing.

Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase in common law describing punishment that is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to the sanction. The precise definition varies by jurisdiction, but typically includes punishments that are arbitrary, unnecessary, overly severe compared to the crime, or not generally accepted in society.

Cruel and Unusual EssayThe marginal note for Daniel 3:19 in the Geneva Bible (1576-1644) read: “This declareth that the more that tyrants rage, and the more witty they show themselves inventing strange and cruel punishments, the more is God glorified by his servants to whom he giveth patience and constancy to abide the cruelty of their punishment: for either by delivereth them from death, or else for this life giveth them a better.”

These exact words were first used in the English Bill of Rights 1689.[1] They were later also adopted in the United States by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution (ratified 1791) and in the British Leeward Islands (1798). Very similar words, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, appear in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The right under a different formulation is also found in Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and in Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) also contains this fundamental right in section 12 and it is to be found in Article 4 (quoting the European Convention verbatim) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000). It is also found in Article 16 of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), and in Article 40 of the Constitution of Poland (1997).[2] The Constitution of the Marshall Islands, in the sixth section of its Bill of Rights (Article 2), prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment”, which it defines as: the death penalty; torture; “inhuman and degrading treatment”; and “excessive fines or deprivations”.[3]

Cruel and Unusual EssayUnited States
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted.” The general principles that the United States Supreme Court relied on to decide whether or not a particular punishment was cruel and unusual were determined by Justice William Brennan.[4] In Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), Justice Brennan dissenting wrote, “There are, then, four principles by which we may determine whether a particular punishment is ‘cruel and unusual’.”

The “essential predicate” is “that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity”, especially torture.
“A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion.” (Furman v. Georgia temporarily suspended capital punishment for this reason.)

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“A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society.”
“A severe punishment that is patently unnecessary.”
Cruel and Unusual Essay And he added: “The function of these principles, after all, is simply to provide [the] means by which a court can determine whether [the] challenged punishment comports with human dignity. They are, therefore, interrelated, and, in most cases, it will be their convergence that will justify the conclusion that a punishment is ‘cruel and unusual.’ The test, then, will ordinarily be a cumulative one: if a punishment is unusually severe, if there is a strong probability that it is inflicted arbitrarily, if it is substantially rejected by contemporary society, and if there is no reason to believe that it serves any penal purpose more effectively than some less severe punishment, then the continued infliction of that punishment violates the command of the Clause that the State may not inflict inhuman and uncivilized punishments upon those convicted of crimes.”

Continuing, he wrote that he expected that no state would pass a law obviously violating any one of these principles, so court decisions regarding the Eighth Amendment would involve a “cumulative” analysis of the implication of each of the four principles. In this way, the United States Supreme Court “set the standard that a punishment would be cruel and unusual [if] it was too severe for the crime, [if] it was arbitrary, if it offended society’s sense of justice, or if it was not more effective than a less severe penalty.”[5]

Cruel and Unusual EssayCapital punishment
There is great discussion as to whether capital punishment is considered cruel and unusual. Common arguments are that capital punishment is more expensive when factoring in appeals versus life in prison, and that the government has been wrong before on death penalty cases (therefore, the government could be wrong again, and the government ought not have the authority to end a life). These two arguments alone may or may not qualify under the tests the government puts forth, which could also be considered arbitrary itself, especially if society is not informed enough on these considerable facts. For most of recorded history, capital punishments were often deliberately cruel, painful, and/or degrading. Severe historical execution methods include the breaking wheel, hanged, drawn and quartered, mazzatello, boiling to death, death by burning, execution by drowning, death by starvation, immurement, flaying, disembowelment, crucifixion, impalement, crushing, execution by elephant, keelhauling, stoning, dismemberment, sawing, slow slicing, blood eagle, bamboo torture and necklacing.[6]

In 2008, Michael Portillo on the show Horizon argued that in ensuring an execution is not of a cruel and unusual nature, the following criteria must be met:

Cruel and Unusual EssayDeath should be quick and painless to prevent suffering for the person being executed;
Medical education should be provided to the executioner to prevent suffering caused by error;
The death should not be gory (to prevent suffering for those carrying out the execution); and
No co-operation should be required from the person being executed, to prevent inaction, distress, and/or suffering caused by the prisoner being required to participate in their own execution.
Cruel and Unusual EssayThe show argued that hypoxia appears to meet the criteria, by way of applying a combination of the gases argon and nitrogen, as the person being executed would not feel any physical pain but would experience a euphoric state. It was further argued that these gases could be applied cheaply and efficiently by restraining the prisoner by way of physical restraints and mask.[7]

Topic 1 DQ 1

Oct 3-5, 2022

What would spirituality be according to your own worldview? How do you believe that your conception of spirituality would influence the way in which you care for patients?

In essence, spirituality is the quest for the meaning of life (Bogue and Hogan, 2020). This vague term takes on many meanings depending on who is asked. Worldviews have a large impact on what path spirituality takes for someone. Personally, my worldview aligns with realism and optimism. Realism in the fact that what I can perceive and what is tangible in this world is what creates the majority of my experience. My optimistic worldview allows me to rely on such ideas as faith in order to maintain a positive view of my future. These play into my spirituality by allowing me to stay grounded in the present and accepting that the future is still unknown but has so much potential to be better than what I can comprehend now. My worldview allows my spirituality to be fluid and less of a daily burden mentally. The combination of my worldview and spirituality allow me to be present for my patients in their times of need, maintain positivity, be open to external experiences and worldviews, all while maintaining a tangible awareness of the physical ailments they are experiencing. Faith without realism does not benefit the patient because even if a grim prognosis exists, realism allows us to deal with the now and continue to move forward. Even if moving forward towards a terminal diagnosis, solace can be found in working through the physical realm to eventually be at peace in faith; knowing all that can be done in the now has been addressed.


Bogue, D. W. and Hogan, M. (2020). Foundational Issues in Christian Spirituality and Ethics. Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care. Retrieved from