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

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

  1. #21
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    True, yet we still do it in prisons today, especially the supermaxes.
    Personally I don't care what scotus says as long as there is a patriot act

  2. #22
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    True, yet we still do it in prisons today, especially the supermaxes.
    I don't really know, but I bet there are folks out there trying to get the practice banned.


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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.
    This tendency of presuming the most arcane about the U.S. Constitution precepts needs to go. Very little about what was written in the U.S. Constitution is mysterious when you look at in context.

    The Western world during the onset of U.S. republicanism was a highly reactionary time period where the last vestiges of the medieval period (those that persisted past the Renaissance) were being swept away due to their association with aristocratic and monarchical privilege -- often in the fires of revolution. "Cruel and unusual punishment" means any of the classic torture devices and methods associated with the Old Order, including ripping off finger nails, inquisitorial style psychological harassment and manipulation techniques, and water boarding. Anything that runs contrary to the "enlightenment" in the Age of Enlightenment.

    Only thing mentioned in the report that might not pass as "cruel and unusual punishment" in the reckoning of the Founding Fathers would be solitary confinement, since forcing prisoners to live away from society like monks silently contemplating their sins was considered an ideal prison reform by the educated men of that time period.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    I don't know. Not a scholar. I'll defer to Scalia.
    Why would you defer to one Justice of the Supreme Court? What is the position of the rest of the court? What has been the position of the courts since day one?
    "Groups with guitars are on the way out, Mr. Epstein"

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

    I don't think so...I believe there are limits to who and where the Constitution applies.

    At the same time, that doesn't mean I think it should be done.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggen View Post
    Why would you defer to one Justice of the Supreme Court? What is the position of the rest of the court? What has been the position of the courts since day one?
    Who cares? They're all mouthpieces for ideology or moral and judicial compromise. You have to really strain yourself to assign them any credibility.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 12-15-14 at 05:07 PM.
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    There's nothing in the Constitution that I'm aware of that prohibits torture but that's the wrong question. The right question is "Do the American people want to accept that torture, a morally reprehensible and ineffective tactic, is being done in their name?"
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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

    5th Amendment bars self-incrimination and requires due process prior to punishment (imprisonment).

    8th Amendment bars unusual punishment. 14th Amendment also guarantees due process.

    US signed the 1987 UN Convention Against Torture. The definition of torture stipulated by the US in the treaty reservations is:

    the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

    https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDe...pter=4&lang=en

    This is basically the same language as the US Code.

    18 U.S. Code § 2340 - Definitions | LII / Legal Information Institute

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