April 20

posted Apr 20, 2012, 5:49 AM by Peter Knowles   [ updated Apr 20, 2012, 8:47 AM ]
With last night's homework, we've now had a chance to look at the majority of the Bill of Rights' Amendments:
1st (490-511)
2nd (522)
3rd (522)
4th (523-526)
5th (529-530)
6th (530-533)
as well as two other "rights" amendments that came later
13th (521-522)
14th (518-520)
There are still a few more to go (see tonight's homework below) but for now, it's worth taking a few minutes to sort out what we know about these amendments. 

Using your copy of the Bill of Rights and a highlighter, pen, or pencil, identify the words in these amendments that you've heard before, or that have particularly strong meanings or associations in your life. 

After spending some time deciding for yourself what the key words are, we'll be going through them together to talk about how these amendments have an impact on our lives today. 

Key resources:

HOMEWORK: Rights of the Accused: Punishment (Chapter 20.4; pgs 536-539)
  1. bail
  2. preventive detention
  3. treason
Answer these questions
  1. How has the Supreme Court defined "excessive" bail? (536) *
  2. How has the Supreme Court defined "cruel and unusual" punishment? (536-537)  *
  3. What sorts of detals and issues have created unclear lines of when capital punishment is constitutional? (538)
* Note on questions 1 & 2: In other words, according to the Supreme Court, when does bail become "excessive", and when does punishment become "cruel and unusual"?

Peter Knowles,
Apr 20, 2012, 6:03 AM