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(WashingtonsBlog) Preface: While a lot of people talk about the loss of our Constitutional liberties, people usually speak in a vague, generalized manner … or focus on only one issue and ignore the rest. This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

As far as we know, this right is still being respected.  However – as noted above – the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

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

 

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.

The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countries –violates the 8th Amendment.  Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.

While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel

and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong.  It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.

And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out. Original article here.

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