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Jon Stewart on Criminal Justice

The jester takes a bow.

Jon Stewart announced yesterday that he plans to retire after his 16-year-run as the host of The Daily Show. While Stewart is perhaps best known for his political satire, campaign coverage, and near-constant takedowns of 24-hour-news networks, his show has also tackled various criminal justice issues. A sampling of the past two decades, from the death penalty to police shootings:

1999

During his very first season, Stewart commemorated the retirement of “Old Sparky,” Florida’s infamous electric chair, after its 76-year tenure and 238 “heartwarming executions.”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.

2002

After the Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which declared the death penalty unconstitutional for the mentally disabled, Stewart joked about the repercussions of the decision: “Tomorrow they will be among us. Smiling, hugging. Murder on their minds.”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.

2007

Stewart breaks from standard political fare — “Enough with the executive branch, those term-limited pussies!” — to cover the first days of Supreme Court season: “This could finally be the year everything is ruled unconstitutional!”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.

2012

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, Stewart brings in The Daily Show’s “Senior Black Correspondent” Larry Wilmore to put viewers in “a racist time-out.”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.

2014

Stewart described the unrest in Ferguson — following the Michael Brown shooting and grand jury decision — as “provok[ing] a, let’s say, stern response by police, who appear to be auditioning for RoboCop.”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.

2014

When the grand jury in the Eric Garner case issued its own non-indictment, Stewart took a somber moment at the top of the show to address the audience: “I honestly don’t know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more time.”

On iOS? Click here to see the video on The Daily Show’s website.