“The basic concept underlying the Eighth Amendment is nothing less than the dignity of man.  While the State has the power to punish, the Amendment stands to assure that this power be exercised within the limits of civilized standards.  …  The Court [has] recognized … that the words of the Amendment are not precise, and that their scope is not static.  The Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

Trop vs. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 100-01 (1958) (Earl Warren, C.J.)

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