Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause Law and Legal Definition

The cruel and unusual punishments clause is a clause in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishments. A cruel and unusual punishment refers to punishments that are clearly inhumane or that violate basic human dignity. This clause was added in the U.S. Constitution through the eighth amendment. This phrase originated in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and was later adopted by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The cruel and unusual punishments referred under USCS Const. Amend. 8 read as:

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