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Possible Violation of the Eighth Amendment Essay

The article I found was written on March 14, 2011 about the controversy of the constitutionality of the treatment of Private Manning. There have been many articles about this topic, but the one I looked at was an editorial in the pages of the New York Times. Private Manning was convicted of leaking restricted military files to WikiLeaks and was arrested on the twenty sixth of May in Iraq. Since then he has been imprisoned at Quantico in Virginia and has been treated as the some of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib have. For example, he is in solitary confinement twenty three out of twenty four hours, on the twenty four hours his ankles must be shackled on the way to and on the way back from the exercise room. Finally, he is forced to sleep naked and when inspection comes in the morning, he is naked throughout that too; only when it is over is he permitted to have his clothes back.

The controversy is whether this is treatment for cruel and unusual punishment; also known as the eighth amendment. I think this treatment of Private Manny may very well lead to a court case over the eighth amendment. In my opinion, there was most definitely a violation of the eighth amendment, I do not condone torture in any sense and consider not only despicable and disgraceful on American soil, but unconstitutional, and the treatment of Private Manning falls under this position. Being forced naked and in isolation for such extended periods of time is torture. Torture is cruel and, most definitely, unusual punishment especially considering the non-severity of Private Manning’s actions.


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