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Comment Re:It's too bad (Score 5, Informative) 332

Regarding the Eighth Amendment, the Supreme Court has held the "excessive fines" clause inapplicable to civil jury awards of punitive damages in cases between private parties, "when the government neither has prosecuted the action nor has any right to receive a share of the damages awarded." (Browning-Ferris Industries v. Kelco Disposal, Inc., 492 U.S. 257 (1989)) Therefore, while leaving open the issue of whether the clause has any applicability to civil penalties, the Court determined that "the Excessive Fines Clause was intended to limit only those fines directly imposed by, and payable to, the government." (Id. at 268.)

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