Interactive Constitution: Eighth Amendment (Middle Level)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 8th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 8

Atkins v. Virginia (2002)

Does the Eighth Amendment prohibit the execution of prisoners with intellectual disabilities convicted of capital crimes? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2002.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Baze v. Rees (2008)

Does Kentucky’s lethal injection method violate the Eighth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2008.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Graham v. Florida (2010)

Is sentencing a minor to life without parole for a non-homicide crime “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2010.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Interactive Constitution: Eighth Amendment (High School)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 8th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 12

Kansas v. Marsh (2006)

Is a Kansas statute allowing the death penalty when mitigating and aggravating evidence are equal in violation of the Eighth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2006.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008)

Do states violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment by imposing the death sentence for the crime of child rape? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2008.

  • Resource Type: Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Miller v. Alabama (2012)

Does a sentence of life without parole for a 14-year-old convicted of murder violate the Eighth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2012.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12