Cruel and unusual punishment
The United States Constitution
states, in the Bill of Rights
, that citizens will not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment
. What this means is the subject of much legal argument.
For example, this has not resulted in the prohibition of the death penalty, or of execution by electrocution, which many people consider to a cruel and unusual punishment.
However, there have been some cases which have resulted in the prohibition of the death penalty in certain circumstances, such as the execution of a minor, or of a mentally handicapped person.
Some people believe that mandatory minimum sentences may constitute cruel and unusual punishment in some cases.