Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to deny Congress and the several States their concurrent power to impose capital punishment for crimes not limited to those involving loss of life.
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This Amendment is pretty straightforward. It basically prevents the courts from declaring the death penalty unconstitutional simply because it’s the death penalty. It also prevents judges from deciding that certain non-lethal crimes (e.g., rape, torture, kidnapping, etc.) are insufficiently heinous to warrant the death penalty – that’s a decision for the people (through their duly-elected legislatures) to make, not the courts. I suppose someone might argue, “That means a state could impose the death penalty for jaywalking!” but (1) I would hate to think anyone honestly believes there are states whose populations are that far gone as to think such a high penalty for jaywalking is warranted and (2) the Eighth Amendment‘s influence on the death penalty doesn’t entirely evaporate upon this Amendment’s passage – the death penalty for jaywalking would certainly fall under either “cruel” or “unusual”, one would think.
Note that this Amendment does not prevent any state or the federal government from eliminating its death penalty legislatively. If a state’s legislature or if Congress wants to do away with capital punishment within its own sphere of influence, it certainly can, and that’s fine (because it’s the people deciding this, not judges). So, even with this Amendment in place, America could still abolish the death penalty if it likes, state-by-state and federally until it’s gone everywhere. I actually think one of the reasons that some states are reluctant to abolish the death penalty is that they fear they would never be able to reinstate it if they did abolish it and then found out later it did have a useful deterrent effect. This Amendment would remove that fear, giving the states room to experiment freely.
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The Cultural Bill Of Rights
–CBOR-7Y: The Seven Years Amendment
–CBOR-RF: The Religious Freedom Amendment
–CBOR-2A: The New Second Amendment
–CBOR-CP: The Capital Punishment Amendment
–CBOR-ED: The Eminent Domain Amendment
–CBOR-17: The Senate Restoration Amendment
–CBOR-SC: The Supreme Court Amendment
–CBOR-QV: The Qualified Voters Amendment
–CBOR-AR: The Anti-Reparations Amendment
–CBOR-GS: The Gender Standardization Amendment
–CBOR-MS: The Marriage Standardization Amendment
–CBOR-PM: The Protection of Minors Amendment