The Fourth Amendment Of The United States Constitution Prohibits Cruel And Unusual Punishments

The Fourth Amendment Of The United States Constitution Prohibits Cruel And Unusual Punishments

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The eighth amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. New Cutting edge technology carries with it the likelihood of new treatment for criminals. A fictional example of such technology is Ludovico treatment, which alters the consciousness of a criminal and makes them non-violent. The use of the Ludovico treatment on prisoners can be considered a cruel and unusual punishment and thus violate the eighth amendment. Even though this treatment may be technically unconstitutional, it would be allowed in the United States for the betterment of society.
In the United States there are many examples of drugs that are used to help people with psychological problems. An example of this is the drug Antabuse. Antabuse is a drug given to alcoholics, which creates highly unpleasant symptoms like vomiting and nausea every time the subject consumes alcohol. Often times alcohol related criminals are given a choice between prison and using the medication (Rundio, 54). It can be argued that the offering of drugs like Antabuse to criminals are acts of coercion because the alternative choice is going to prison, and to coerce felons to take this drug would violate the eighth amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Despite the criticism of the drug, it has not been subject to the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. The main reason coercing alcohol related criminals, has not come under federal scrutiny is likely because the use of the drug is for the betterment of society. By using the drug to make alcohol distasteful to alcoholics, there are less alcohol related crimes like drunk driving and society is made safer. The use of the fictional therapy Ludovico treatment would be very similar. Ludovico treatment for...

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...’s for the common good and allow the therapy to reform volatile criminals.
Despite the fact that Ludovico treatment may be actually unconstitutional, it would be permitted in the United States for the advancement of society. There are many drugs that also potentially violate the banning of cruel and unusual punishments like Antabuse, but their use avoids the scrutiny of the Supreme Court because of the understanding of the purpose of the drug. Ludovico therapy is a punishment meant to make dangerous criminals peaceful members of society unlike other punishments that have brutally violated inmates. Finally the term “cruel and unusual” in the Constitution is open to interpretation because it was written centuries ago. Ludovico treatment may not be cruel and unusual because it benefits society. For these reasons, the Supreme Court would not prohibit Ludovico treatment.

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