I have to admit that events like the massacre at the movie theater in Aurora Colorado make me question the wisdom of our constitutional protection against "cruel and unusual punishment."
Some monster slaughters people in cold blood, wounding over 50: The police catch him immediately after the shooting and there is absolutely no doubt about his guilt. Unless there is some reason to believe that there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. coercion or total insanity), my gut feeling is that the surviving victims, and the families of those who didn't survive, should be giving the opportunity to dispense justice by stoning him to death as a warning to other monsters who might be inclined to carry out similar atrocities.
We moderns often sit in judgment on ancient cultures for their brutal punishments. I suspect, however, that if the people in those ancient cultures could see that our punishment for someone who slaughters innocent people is to give them food, clothing, medical care, TV, and athletic opportunities, all at taxpayer expense, those ancient people would say we are not only barbaric but out of our minds.