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Today's Featured Article - Cruel and unusual punishment

Kirk

Cruel and unusual punishment is a platitude found in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, was written to ensure that the new American nation would not suffer from the excesses of the former English overlords, such as drawing-and-quartering, death by torture (no matter how entertaining it was to contemplate it being done to Mel Gibson in Braveheart), or repeats of Mr. Bean.

That the Founding Founders in the execution-happy colonies would have written an amendment to ban executions entirely is so unthinkable that it has taken the finest minds in the United States to explain why it means exactly this.

Most uses of the Eighth Amendment in the U.S. court system therefore concern executions, the exception being the rare lawsuit to demand premium cable channels on prison televisions. In fact, no prisoner has ever been drawn-and-quartered or tortured in the United States at all. And slavery, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and Instant Replay in Major League Baseball are technically not even "punishments."

The Supreme Court, then, has had the task of understanding what the Founders could have meant by writing an Amendment that, on the surface, seems meaningless. In the American renaissance called the Great Society, it first occurred to the Court that the death penalty itself could be "cruel and unusual punishment."

As in most things, the Court advanced this "jurisprudence" gradually, first saving from execution only:

  • The insane, who obviously did not know what they were doing
  • Premeditated murders, because the nation needs their expertise and attention to detail in National Economic Planning
  • Child killers, because we need to give them a chance to grow up
  • Spouse killers, because we need to give them a chance to grow old
  • Elderly killers, because sometimes writing kids out of the will just doesn't work
  • African Americans, because we don't execute a fair share of white folks and we wouldn't want blacks to take this the wrong way
  • Authors of gun massacres, because this is the fault of gun shows, SUVs, and rodeos.

(more...)

Recently featured: Cruel and unusual punishment

Yesterday's Featured Article -

Featured today, a long long time ago

Featured RMS Olympic, featured on 27 April 2012. See the featured version.
Jeff Beck, featured on 27 April 2011. See the featured version.
British Sitcoms, featured on 27 April 2010. See the featured version.

Did you know...

Chicken jesus
  • ...that it's a surprisingly simple process to starting your own religion? (pictured)
  • ...that the rumors that you are paranoid were started by someone who's out to get you?
  • ...that The Oldest Trick in the Book is the infamous "Tapping on a person's left shoulder when you're standing on their right"? This trick was first chronicled in cuneiform by the Ancient Sumerians, who lived on the windswept steppes of Mesopotamia.
  • ...that you can get great deals on Vietnamese clothing imports if you buy now?
  • ...that Euroipods is a website giving away free ipods in return for completing offers and reffering freinds to do the same?
  • ...that Calvin and Hobbes was an action-packed buddy comedy series that ran from 1542-1549, featuring philosophers John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes as themselves?
  • ...that the American Civil War was actually marked by many instances of uncivil behavior?

In the news

On this day...

Pigs

April 27: Eat a Live Piglet Day (Schenectady, New York; Griffin, Georgia)

  • 1124 - King David the Lastnameless takes the throne of Scotland
  • 1294 - Scotland calls Franch a bunch of pussies. Angry grumbling ensues.
  • 1368 - The Big Bad Wolf is found guilty of vandalism and mouth robbery, and is sentenced to 30 hours of social work.
  • 1509 - Pope Julius II places the Italian state of Venice under interdict. The interdict arose from finding the state warm and moist.
  • 1521 - Magellan arrives in the Philippines. The locals invite him in for dinner.
  • 1555 - You are born, but die of cholera by age eight. You don't remember this previous life because you were born a moron.
  • 1945 - USA and USSR meet for the first time in Germany, starting a love affair to last several decades.
  • 1949 - Texas becomes the first US State to outlaw Cheese, following the discovery of a Soviet covert chedder ring operating in Houston.
  • 1966 - NASA scientists propose using Dusty Springfield's 11-mile tall bouffant to get to the moon.
  • 1981 - I got laid!
  • 1984 - The Libyan Embassy in London is taken hostage by a VW campervan, ending in the shooting of Dr Emmett Brown.

Today's featured picture

SexualPredator

"El cazador que hace trofeos de los hombres" - the demon who makes trophies of men.

Image Credit: Mhaille
Vote on this image - Nominate new image - View all featured images

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Writer and Noob of the Month

Writer of the month
GlobalTourniquet wins Writer of the Month for September in the typical fashion of some prolific writer who has been abscent for 2 years only to return with bold, new ideas for their writing! It should also be noted apart from the fact he is back that he is talented in what he writes and he does a fine job managing UnNews. So hats off to GlobalTourniquet, may he bring many, exciting articles to Uncyclopedia!

Seriously, we love you.


Noobaward
Noob of the Moment is the award that all newbies want and Sinner George has pulled that off excellently (being the second Greek to have this award!) It should be mentioned that his username is deceptive, he is actually a very good George writing new master pieces and getting on well with the dynamics of Uncyclopedia. You should congratulate him on this prestigious honor.

Hats off to you George, may you bbe with us for many months years to come!


BePrepared
It is said last months winner has an ego comparable to Napoleon but both of these people are nothing compared to the ego of Frosty, as both winner of Uncyclopedian of the Month (second time!) and the writer of this update he will stain this section with vanity and how wonderful he is. Frosty is a wonderful Uncyclopedian, he is the best, he will crush you all. He has no time for the likes of you and he is the new administrator and unless you worship him he will take you on a free of charge trip on the banwagon!

HEIL FROSTY!



Vote for Writer of the Month | Vote for Noob of the Month | Vote for Uncyclopedian of the Month | Past Winners

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