Torture is Not a Useful Interrogation Tool for Murder Cases
Torture is widespread and has been used for many years. It is one of the harshest means of human violence, which causes both psychological and physical consequences. According to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, signed in 1988 by the United States, torture during interrogation is any act whereby suffering and pain, being either mental or physical or both, is inflicted on a person intentionally so as to obtain information or confession from him/her. This paper aims to prove that torture is indeed not a useful interrogation tool, even for murder cases. To begin with, torture has negative impacts on both the perpetrators and the victims, even though it is applied in interrogations in order to extract the necessary information. Despite the fact that many international agreements and laws have been put in place to curb torture, it continues to be used massively as a part of the internal conflicts within nations as well as international ones. Tortures inflicted by the U.S. military have stirred intense debates on interrogation practices used in America. Everyone in the world was shocked when they saw a number of photographs where prisoners were being tortured in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Those photos, which were taken using cameras and cell phones, showed prisoners being subjected to humiliating and cruel treatment by the U.S. soldiers and led to the spread of hatred toward the latter. This is evidence of how torture is harmful for both sides when applied in an attempt to forcefully obtain information. The information obtained during torture is not to be trusted. This is because people are likely to confess to a crime they have not committed rather than continue suffering. Consequently, the information acquired this way is certainly not reliable. Tortures, therefore, may help to obtain information in large quantities but determining whether such information is true or false is very difficult. As a result, this wrong information puts the interrogators at risk, diverting them from the right direction and thereby jeopardizing innocent people. Gonzalez argues that analyzing such information is another complication because it involves a laborious process when one has to process a large amount of contradictory information so as to identify the suspect. In this process, many suspects are yielded, but few law breakers are confirmed. For example, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York that caused numerous deaths there were mass arrests of suspects who were interrogated through torturing after President Bush’s secret orders. In other cases, as interrogation continues to get deeper and deeper in intensity, the interrogators tend to believe that the suspect is not speaking the truth or is withdrawing information that is valuable to them. In such cases, the interrogators may choose continuing torture while the suspect may not possess the information the interrogators are seeking. The ability to improve detection of lies among the suspects through training the staff is not likely to improve the situation. All that training has resulted in modest gains and even modest losses at other times. For this reason, the reliability of the gathered information cannot be guaranteed when torture is the order of the day. Torture brings pain and suffering to the suspects in order to extract the information that the interrogators want to hear. This forces the former to give false information to relieve themselves of pain and suffering. Although there have been attempts to justify torture by claiming falsely that it is required to obtain important information and that it is much more effective than any other form of interrogation, torture will always prove ineffective regarding the correlation between the means and the results achieved. Therefore, torture is not useful during interrogation of murder suspects.
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