It probably would come as understatement to most of the readers of this blog that such behavoir violates Americans' standards of decency.
But not so fast.
Now comes a blog entitled The Volokh Conspiracy, whose author says criminals in this country need to be tortured a bit -- or maybe a lot -- before they are executed. Revealing his true colors, blogger Eugene Volokh writes:
I should mention that such a punishment would probably violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. I'm not an expert on the history of the clause, but my point is that the punishment is proper because it's cruel (i.e., because it involves the deliberate infliction of pain as part of the punishment), so it may well be unconstitutional. I would therefore endorse amending the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause to expressly exclude punishment for some sorts of mass murders.
Naturally, I don't expect this to happen any time soon; my point is about what should be the rule, not about what is the rule, or even what is the constitutionally permissible rule. I think the Bill of Rights is generally a great idea, but I don't think it's holy writ handed down from on high. Certain amendments to it may well be proper, though again I freely acknowledge that they'd be highly unlikely.
This requires no further comment from me. To read Eugene's full entry, go here.
You can also access the article out of Iran by going here.
Many thanks to Neal from North Carolina for letting our readers know about this...this...this...perspective on retribution.