CASE DIGEST RIGHT AGAINST CRUEL, DEGRADING or INHUMAN PUNISHMENT
Legarda vs. Valdez, G.R. No. 513, February 25, 1902 People vs. Echegaray, G.R. No. 117472, February 7, 1997 People vs. Mercado, G.R. No. 116239, November 29, 2000
title 5. It is. to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the subjects. as far as this point is concerned. Italian. law 13. J.. Even assuming that it is a lighter punishment the court had. Valdez. G. entitled “An Act for Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject. & M. jurisdiction to try this case because it had power to impose a fine of nearly $600. It is not limited to the Spanish law. title 5. for it is found in the Fuero Juzgo (law 12. not excessive fines imposed. Such a construction has never been given to this provision. and excessive fines have been imposed. It is to be observed that the words are “cruel and unusual. Austrian.)”
. The court finds that it is not ecessary in this case to decide whether the penalty of banishment is lighter or heavier than imprisonment for six months. and among others. A law which changes a penalty so as to make it less severe would be unconstitutional if the new penalty were an unusual one. Those instructions use the words “cruel and unusual punishment. Portuguese.R. February 25. FACTS: The prosecution in this case is based upon article 458. and other codes. chap. which assigns a penalty of destierro and a fine of form 625 to 6. It remains to be considered whether Courts of First Instance have power to impose the penalty of banishment. claimed to be a punishment unusual in the United States.Legarda vs. and therefore prohibited in these Islands by the instructions of the President to the Commission.” (Stat. 1 W. 136 prevents Courts of First Instance from inflicting any punishment except fine or imprisonment.” To be prohibited by this provision the punishment must not only be unusual but it must also be cruel. and Setting the Succession of the Crown. There is no reason why unusual punishments which were not cruel should have been prohibited. 2. If that had been done it would have been impossible to change the punishments that existed when the Constitution was adopted.” They were. Such a construction would prohibit the infliction of the death penalty. 1902 WILLARD. after rehearsing various grounds of grievance. 513. It would prohibit the introduction in the matter of penalties of new ideas intended to ameliorate the condition of criminals. and illegal and cruel punishment inflicted” – it is declared that “excessive bail ought not to be required. We do not agree with the counsel for the defendant in his claim that the language of article 56 of Act No. It has existed in the French. however. book 6.” in which.250 pesetas.
RULING: The Supreme Court held that punishment of this character is not new. taken from the Constitution of the United States and originally from the English statute. that “excessive bail hath been required of persons committed in criminal cases. book 6). ISSUE: Whether or not the penalty imposed upon the accused constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment". It cannot be and is not claimed to be a cruel punishment. of course. No. Speaking of the law of New York providing for electrocution the Supreme Court of the United Stated said: “The provision in reference to cruel and unusual punishments was taken from the well-known Act of Parliament of 1688. nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
This was dismissed. Echegaray. debilitating. curtailed and altogether eradicated. 7659. and retained the services of the Anti-Death Penalty Task Force of the Free Legal Assistance Group of the Philippines (FLAG). unjust. 7659. Article III. Fittingly. No. for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. may re-impose the death penalty. No. a positive manifestation in the form of a higher incidence of crime should first be perceived and statistically proven following the suspension of the death penalty. 7659 cites that there has been an "alarming upsurge of such crimes". RULING: The Supreme Court held that the elements of heinousness and compulsion are inseparable and are. 7659 states is that "the Congress. Because the subject crimes are either so revolting and debasing as to violate the most minimum of the human standards of decency or its effects. in the interest of justice. 117472. these crimes must be frustrated. A supplemental Motion for Reconsideration prepared by the FLAG on behalf of accused-appellant. G. Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution simply states that congress. No. was already in effect."
.People vs. thus. implications and consequences so destructive.A. for the same was never intended by said law to be the yardstick to determine the existence of compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. commonly known as the Death Penalty Law. No. what R. Neither does the said provision require that the death penalty be resorted to as a last recourse when all other criminal reforms have failed to abate criminality in society. destabilizing.R. 1994. in fact. and the need to rationalize and harmonize the penal sanctions for heinous crimes. ISSUE: Whether or not the death penalty is a cruel. finds compelling reasons to impose the death penalty for said crimes. accused-appellant discharged the defense counsel. It is immaterial and irrelevant that R.A. On August 6. repercussions. 1996.A.A. and (3) purely legal question of the constitutionality of R. interspersed with each other. The accused-appellant timely filed a Motion for Reconsideration which focused on the sinister motive of the victim's grandmother that precipitated the filing of the alleged false accusation of rape against the accused.) No. Atty. during which time Republic Act (R. public order and rule of law. In sum. Vitug. or aggravating in the context of our socio-political and economic agenda as a developing nation. Julian R. 1997 PER CURIAM FACTS: The crime having been committed sometime in April. the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration raises three (3) main issues: (1) mixed factual and legal matters relating to the trial proceedings and findings. (2) alleged incompetence of accused-appellant's former counsel. February 7. accused-appellant was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty of death. Nothing in the said provision imposes a requirement that for a death penalty bill to be valid. excessive or unusual punishment in violation of the constitutional proscription against cruel and unusual punishments.
In the oft-cited case of Harden v. degrading or inhuman punishment. this Court held that punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a lingering death. parricide. and the Court would exceed its own authority if it questioned the exercise of such discretion. Mercado. 7659 has already been settled in the Court's 12-3 per curiam Resolution in People vs. The Constitution does not require that "a positive manifestation in the form of a higher incidence of crime should first be perceived and statistically proven" before the death penalty may be prescribed. 7659 provides both procedural and substantial safeguards to insure its correct application. Accused-appellants argue that Republic Act 7659 violates the 1987 Constitution because 1. the implementing details of R. robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons. importation of prohibited drugs. R.7659 violates the constitutional ban against infliction of cruel. The death penalty is not a "cruel. 2. kidnapping and serious illegal detention.' Would the lack in particularity then as to the details involved in the execution by lethal injection render said law 'cruel. No. plunder. 4. It implies there something inhuman and barbarous. Pasig. Death penalty is not deterrence to the commission of crimes. within the meaning of that word as used in the constitution. 7659 providing for the death penalty for 13 heinous crimes. of kidnapping with murder. 3.7659 violates the constitutional ban against infliction of cruel. etc. A Supplemental Brief filed for accused-appellants by collaborating counsel Rene V. 8177 are matters which are properly left to the competence and expertise of administrative officials. degrading or inhuman punishment. There are no compelling reasons to impose the death penalty for the crimes of treason. Congress is authorized under the Constitution to determine when the elements of heinousness and compelling reasons are present. 5. The offenses for which Republic Act No. No.
.R. 7659 repudiates the obligation of the Philippines under international law. something more than the mere extinguishment of life." It is an exercise of the state's power to "secure society against the threatened and actual evil. For reasons hereafter discussed. No. murder. degrading or inhuman'? The Court believes not. but the punishment of death is not cruel.A.People vs. Rizal.A.A. 116239. unjust. ISSUE: Whether or not R. wherein the following rulings were made: 1. No. degrading or inhuman punishment. destructive arson. G. convicting accused-appellants SPO2 Elpidio Mercado y Hernando and SPO1 Aurelio Acebron y Adora." 2. 3. 7659 impugns the constitutional right to equality before the law. of the Philippine National Police of Tanay. infanticide. Republic Act No.A. R. qualified bribery. Branch 156. R. Echegaray. excessive or unusual punishment. rape. No. The constitutionality of Republic Act No. 2000 PER CURIAM FACTS: For automatic review by the court is the decision of the Regional Trial Court. RULING: The Supreme Court held it is well-settled in jurisprudence that the death penalty per se is not a cruel. qualified piracy. November 29.A. Sarmiento with regard to the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 4. Director of Prisons. No. 7659 provides the death penalty satisfy "the element of heinousness" by specifying the circumstances which generally qualify a crime to be punishable by death.