Athens Human Rights Festival, p. 3 (April 20-21, 2002).


In 1958 in Trop v. Dulles the U. S. Supreme Court, construing the Bill of Rights provision prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments, struck down a statute under which American soldiers convicted of desertion in wartime were to be stripped of their American citizenship. In his classic opinion for the Court, Chief Justice Warren stated that the Bill of Rights provision at issue, the Eighth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, "must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."