The United States Constitution protects you from cruel and unusual punishments.
Cool, huh? Well, not so fast...who exactly decides what's cruel and what's unusual?
There's this sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona, who is famous for forcing male prisoners to wear pink underpants. Is that (a) cruel, (b) unusual, or (c) both? Bonus question: Does the sheriff get more turned on by bad, bad boys in boxers or briefs?
If you're being held for trial and a judge decides you're not a threat to society, you can get out by paying bail money which you'll get back when you show up for trial. The Eighth Amendment protects you from having to pay too much bail.
The Eighth talks about fines too. Let's say you had your trial and you were convicted (sure you're innocent but you actually do look just like that jagoff who knocked over the convenience store.)
The good news is if you're sentenced to pay a fine, it can't be excessive. The bad news is, if you really truly are innocent, you're hosed.
paid as a punishment.