The Story of Cruel and UnusualBook - 2007
From publisher's description: "Dayan traces the roots of 'acceptable' torture to slave codes of the nineteenth century that deeply embedded the dehumanization of the incarcerated in our legal system. Although the Eighth Amendment was interpreted generously during the prisoners' rights movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, this period of judicial concern was an anomaly. Over the last thirty years, Supreme Court decisions have once again dismantled Eighth Amendment protections and rendered such words as 'cruel' and 'inhuman' meaningless when applied to conditions of confinement and treatment during detention. Prisoners' actual pain and suffering have been explained away in a rhetorical haze--with rationalizations, for example, that measure cruelty not by the pain or suffering inflicted, but by the intent of the person who inflicted it."