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Should Torture Be Legal Or Not

1187 words - 5 pages

Should Liberal Democracies use Torture?The use of torture has been around for generations, used as a means to punish criminals, or get useful information, or confessions from criminals. Although in ancient times the methods of torture were never questioned, today the topic of using torture in a liberal democracy is a highly debated topic amongst government and military officials. Since the tragedy of 9-11, the question of whether or not torture should be used to gain useful and vital information from terrorists has become a popular one, and one debated everywhere. Although the use of torture could be a useful tool to gather vital information that could save the lives of many citizens, it is not the right tool to use because of its moral, right infringing, and unprofessional flaws.There may be certain situations where torture may be seen as the only way to get important information that could save the life of one person or thousands of citizens. For example, there was a case of a missing boy in Germany in 2002. When the kidnapper was caught, the officers threatened to torture him, and it only took a short amount of time before the kidnapper revealed where they boy was (Frontline, 2). This is a situation where using torture worked, and they got the right information to go and save the boy (even though he was already dead). Another example where it may seem justified is what they call the "ticking time bomb". It debates whether or not terrorists should be tortures if they know vital information that could save the lives of thousands of citizens (Frontline, 1). Another way torture could be seen as just, and to protect national security, would be to use it against al Qaeda members, or other terrorists associated with them. Al Qaeda is not governed by the Geneva Conventions, so they do not have those rights like others would. The group also lost their Prisoner of War Status with the United States when they launched the attack on the twin towers on September 11th, 2001. (Yoo, 2) Because of the circumstances of what rights the Al Qaeda members have in the United States, and their past crimes and actions toward them, these could be justifiable grounds for using torture against them.There are many instances where torture is definitely not acceptable to use as well. Torture is not allowed to be used against Prisoners of war, it states in article 17 of the Third Geneva Convention that "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatsoever." (Yoo, 1). Also, torture has been banned in almost all countries, and is an illegal form of getting information from suspects of crime (The Economist, 1). It is also statistically shown that torture is not needed in most cases. Nine out of ten people can be talked to without using any torture tricks or methods, and be convinced to tell authorities what they know (Applebaum, 1). Bottom line is that torture is an infringement...

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