Are sandwich boards cruel and unusual?

Sandwich_board_1So, we’ve always known that walking around with a sandwich board is about as low as you can get in advertising (though the guys who hand out fliers for strip clubs are pretty low, too). Now, it seems, the job from which many out-of-work actors earn a paycheck has become a form of punishment. Apparently, the Supreme Court has decided that a man convicted of stealing mail can be compelled to wear a sandwich board that reads, “I have stolen mail. This is my punishment.” Lawyers for Shawn Gementera had appealed the sentence, imposed by a federal appeals court in San Francisco, claiming that it violated cruel and unusual punishment statues, but the Supreme Court rejected the case. Gementera, however, should be thanking his stars the court wasn’t up on the latest in street-advertising technology. Otherwise he’d probably have to wear a video confessing his crime.

—Posted by Aaron Baar