Torture Essay

1615 words - 6 pages

TortureThe U.S should only use torture if they are 100% sure that the person they are torturing is the person they want. My reasoning behind saying this is what if they get the wrong man who doesn't actually know anything. They would torture him and if he answers it would be false information and you just ruined a man's life because you cut off 3 of his fingers. It is not morally right however, it is wrong to harm another human being no matter how minimal. Even if it is to save lives you cant really justify the harm of another human being according to natural law.The history of torture is a long and rather gruesome road was happening as early as 530AD, when the great Roman jurists espoused the virtues of torture as 'the highest form of truth' Greek legal orator Demosthenes believed that 'no statements made as a result of torture have ever been proved untrue'. In the 12th Century, officials in Italy and France, to become a source of authority in civil law systems, revived Roman law. In criminal proceedings, the accusatorial process was replaced with a structure of prosecution, which required the testimony of two witnesses or the confession of the accused as 'proof' for a conviction. In this way interrogation and torture to extract such confessions became enshrined in the civil law system (the law of the United States incorporates civil procedure).In the 18th Century, the Enlightenment and the relaxation of civil law rules of evidence led to the evaporation of torture provisions in European legal codes. In 1764, the work of Cesare Beccaria, author of On Crimes and Punishments, became so influential as to lead to the banning of judicial torture in criminal proceedings Europe. Beccaria saw torture as a means of 'conviction of weak innocents'. Consideration for the rights of those involved in war has historically been entrenched in American military code, dating back to the American Civil War in the nineteenth Century. The Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field (Lieber Code), 24 April 1863 state:Art. 16. Military necessity does not admit of cruelty - that is, the infliction of suffering for the sake of suffering or for revenge, nor of maiming or wounding except in fight, nor of torture to extort confessions. It does not admit of the use of poison in any way, nor of the wanton devastation of a district. It admits of deception, but disclaims acts of perfidy; and, in general, military necessity does not include any act of hostility, which makes the return to peace unnecessarily difficult.Yet in 2011, the media of the past decade has been saturated with debate about torture, and the issue is so live and real, that it seems impossible that in 1874, Victor Hugo claimed that 'torture has ceased to exist'. The 20th Century saw a revival of torture techniques against perceived opponents of the state, and priority was given to state security. The Stalinist regime of the 1930s used torture to instill terror into the...

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