"Well, first you look at the Constitution as a whole....The Constitution says you can't inflict cruel and unusual punishment. Well, every state had the death penalty. It wasn't unusual. It has to be both."So apparently any method of execution, no matter how cruel (say, that devised by one of Hannibal Lecter's surviving victims, being eaten slowly from the toes up by wild boars) would be A-OK with the founders, as long as it was not unusual, i.e., adopted uniformly by the states.
[Quotation from an interview of Sessions by Brien Beutler at Talking Points Memo.]
All jolly speculations aside, the left-o-blog-o-sphere is missing the point when they wonder why Repubs are assaulting the reputation of such a respected figure (Marshall, not Lecter), chancing further reduction of their African American vote. The Republican base is not composed of biological humans who cast a vote; it is composed of corporate persons who purchase media, judges, legislators. The humans are just a thin external coating, like that which allows Terminators to travel back in time and control the future... which is also part of their dream.
PS Sessions further explains why excluding black people from educational opportunity is just like limiting corporate contributions to political campaigns. I'd make fun of what he says here, except I can't make heads or tails of it.
PPS I originally, erroneously, referred to the House, rather than Senate, Judiciary Committee.