View Poll Results: Does the U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

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Thread: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

  1. #11
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    That's why I believe it is prohibited by the Constitution, cruel and unusual punishment. Do we really need to attach a thesaurus to the document? Sheesh.
    While I think torture is completely unacceptable, one thing we have to realize is the Constitution is pretty vague in a lot of areas, leaving it open to interpretation. It never defines what constitutes "cruel and unusual". If torture became the norm, it certainly wouldn't be unusual and cruel is entirely subjective. Lots of liberals think the very existence of prisons at all is cruel. Therefore you are going to get people whose interpretation of the terms will be all over the board.
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    see below.


    That's what prompted my question:

    Scalia: Nothing In The Constitution Prohibits Torture

    What about the 8th Amendment - cruel and unusual punishment?
    I don't see him using the t word. And that the words used in the 8th are not enough precise is rather obvious. Don't you think?

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Couldn't solitary confinement be considered "torture" under many people's definition?
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  4. #14
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    While I think torture is completely unacceptable, one thing we have to realize is the Constitution is pretty vague in a lot of areas, leaving it open to interpretation. It never defines what constitutes "cruel and unusual". If torture became the norm, it certainly wouldn't be unusual and cruel is entirely subjective. Lots of liberals think the very existence of prisons at all is cruel. Therefore you are going to get people whose interpretation of the terms will be all over the board.
    I agree with this. Yes, it is vague, and there will always be some interpretation. What I was getting at, though, is that some will be more aggressive about it than others, to the point of sometimes outright ignoring it if it doesn't suit their needs.


    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    Couldn't solitary confinement be considered "torture" under many people's definition?
    Some would. Personally, I wouldn't find 30 days of solitary to be cruel and unusual, but 30 years I would. For some things it's a matter of degree.

    On the flip side, I would consider extracting finger nails with pliers to be cruel and unusual, and it wouldn't matter if it were one nail or 10.
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    Couldn't solitary confinement be considered "torture" under many people's definition?
    Extended periods of solitary confinement is torture, which is the same as cruel and unusual punishment. Read up on what it does to people. Many people end up hitting their heads on the wall, smearing feces all over and start fights with guards just to have some human interaction. Many never recover psychologically from the experience. Some prisoners are confined just for refusing to be a snitch.

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    While I think torture is completely unacceptable, one thing we have to realize is the Constitution is pretty vague in a lot of areas, leaving it open to interpretation. It never defines what constitutes "cruel and unusual". If torture became the norm, it certainly wouldn't be unusual and cruel is entirely subjective. Lots of liberals think the very existence of prisons at all is cruel. Therefore you are going to get people whose interpretation of the terms will be all over the board.
    I think cruel and unusual punishment is clearly meant to ban torture. The USA also ratified the Geneva conventions which bans torture. Very few people consider all prisons unconstitutionally cruel.

  7. #17
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I agree with this. Yes, it is vague, and there will always be some interpretation. What I was getting at, though, is that some will be more aggressive about it than others, to the point of sometimes outright ignoring it if it doesn't suit their needs.



    Some would. Personally, I wouldn't find 30 days of solitary to be cruel and unusual, but 30 years I would. For some things it's a matter of degree.

    On the flip side, I would consider extracting finger nails with pliers to be cruel and unusual, and it wouldn't matter if it were one nail or 10.
    The finger nail extraction is most definitely torture a la Dr. Mengele. A lot of people would say solitary is as well since it's a psychological form of punishment.
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    Yes

    No

    Other
    Plain facts approach yields us the answer.

    The U.S. Constitution asserts due process.

    Part of due process is that people are innocent until proven guilty.

    People cannot be punished until they are proven guilty.

    Torture constitutes punishment that presumes knowledge of one's own guilt.

    Furthermore, torture is a punishment that is cruel and unusual.

    Therefore, torture is unconstitutional before a guilty verdict (because it is punishment) and after a guilty verdict (because it is cruel and unusual).

    All plain facts, well established through the centuries. Nothing exciting or revolutionary going on here. Never used to have a problem with this.

    It's also federal law that people can't be forced to incriminate themselves.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 12-15-14 at 04:21 PM.
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    If it isn't, it bloody well should be.

  10. #20
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Extended periods of solitary confinement is torture, which is the same as cruel and unusual punishment. Read up on what it does to people. Many people end up hitting their heads on the wall, smearing feces all over and start fights with guards just to have some human interaction. Many never recover psychologically from the experience. Some prisoners are confined just for refusing to be a snitch.
    True, yet we still do it in prisons today, especially the supermaxes.
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