I am opposed to the death penalty. It is not fairly implemented (state to state, rich vs poor, ...). It is not really sufficiently punative--a criminal who does not understand the wrong of his/her actions is always getting off easy. Mostly it dehumanizes the punishers: the prosecution, victims families, excecutioner, etc. While I am opposed to it, however, I think arguments like this are a total sham. We can kill people, but potentially causing them pain is wrong? Fat people have a greater right to stayed executions than the skinny? Unadulterated bullshit. If anyone wants to argue against the death penalty, then go for it, but this pussyfooted crap is sickening. Most people would probably rather be beaten than killed, even if it were to result in permanent damage (loss of limb, disfigurement) but we can't do that. Breaking someone's leg is cruel and unusual but killing them is peachy. It is a hypocritcal double standard.
As much as I am opposed to the death penalty I would support punishment that would be considered cruel and unusual. Criminals should spend every waking hour with chatising words (recorded) assaulting them. The recording should cover 12 hrs of total material and should be changed (volume, tone, etc) on a daily or weekly basis so that it does not become background. Criminals who show no remorse should be forced to do so by such means or others. No need for sleep depravation or torture, in fact the opposite. "These people died while you live in relative comfort in this cell." Pain and fear are not restorative tools. The do not breed truly sorry individuals. Guilt, illicited through psychological tools, on the other hand, can be devastating. Of course that would be wrong, so just kill 'em instead, but make sure it doesn't hurt.