cruel and unusual - Legal Definition
Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
Characteriza-tion of punishment that is unduly harsh and goes beyond the recognized purposes of punishment in a civilized society. “Cruel and unusual punishment” has frequently been asserted in connection with attempts to overturn death penalty statutes or forms of execution, e.g., electric chair.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.