History Main / TortureAlwaysWorks

9th Jun '17 3:05:39 AM JackG
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9th Jun '17 3:04:29 AM JackG
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* DiscussedTrope in ''Requiem for an Assassin'' by Creator/BarryEisler. An old enemy waterboards a friend of Literature/JohnRain for information on how to contact him. He points out that TortureIsIneffective if you're just fishing for information, as you've no idea what's true and what's being made up to make the pain stop. However for specific information that you can verify once you have it, it's very effective.

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* DiscussedTrope in ''Requiem for an Assassin'' by Creator/BarryEisler.Barry Eisler. An old enemy waterboards a friend of Literature/JohnRain for information on how to contact him. He points out that TortureIsIneffective if you're just fishing for information, as you've no idea what's true and what's being made up to make the pain stop. However for specific information that you can verify once you have it, it's very effective.
9th Jun '17 3:03:11 AM JackG
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Added DiffLines:

* DiscussedTrope in ''Requiem for an Assassin'' by Creator/BarryEisler. An old enemy waterboards a friend of Literature/JohnRain for information on how to contact him. He points out that TortureIsIneffective if you're just fishing for information, as you've no idea what's true and what's being made up to make the pain stop. However for specific information that you can verify once you have it, it's very effective.
24th May '17 5:00:01 PM Fireblood
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* This was believed to be fact for most of Western history. Before the 1600s, torture was simply matter of factly used by courts for extracting confessions. It was believed that God would help a person resist torture if they were innocent, so false confessions were thought to be impossible. Even so, there were usually legal limits on its use. In England, torture was not used so frequently as on the continent, requiring the King or his Privy Council's consent. Law courts on the continent issued torture warrants based on sworn accusations commonly. The Inquisition actually had more limits on its use than secular courts, ruling that torture could be used only once, though this was [[LoopholeAbuse gotten around]] by "suspending" torture sessions and starting again later. Confessions under torture had to be repeated afterward in court (though the threat of further torture if the accused recanted made this empty). Witchcraft trials saw even these meager protections thrown out. Since witchcraft was the "crimen exceptum", even suspects managing to hold out and not confess under torture would not save them. Instead, it was said the Devil had aided them to resist, blithely ignoring the belief God would do so for an innocent person mentioned earlier. Not until into the 1600s would torture's effectiveness first be questioned. England banned torture in 1640. One story goes that a German prince whose domain had then seen a number of witch trials was concerned with the fantastic things accused witches had confessed under torture, and asked for the Jesuit Order to investigate. They did so, and reported that the practice was proper. Afterward the prince called the Jesuits into a torture chamber, where he brought them to a woman who had already confessed to witchcraft. The prince asked if the Jesuits were involved too. At first she denied it, but then immediately agreed they were when he threatened to have her tortured further. Astonished, the Jesuits became convinced of its failure. Father Frederich Spee, a Jesuit priest who acted as confessor to people convicted of witchcraft, also wrote a groundbreaking book, ''Cautio Criminalis'' (Precautions for Prosecutors) which noted torture's ability to produce false confessions and argued in favor of banning it, with accused witches having the same legal rights. Another was ''On Crimes and Punishments'' by Italian judge Cesare Beccaria, who also argued against capital punishment (again an innovative view). Many governments that use torture are now aware it's efficacy for getting true confessions is dubious at best. For some, this has meant they prohibit the use of torture due it to being unreliable and cruel. Others, unfortunately, use it to gain confessions they ''know'' are false (used for [[KangarooCourt show trials]] in many dictatorships) or simply to punish their dissidents. TheWarOnTerror has seen a revival of torture being used by Western states, but the same criticisms of this have been made.

to:

* This was believed to be fact for most of Western history. Before the 1600s, torture was simply matter of factly used by courts for extracting confessions. It was believed that God would help a person resist torture if they were innocent, so false confessions were thought to be impossible. Even so, there were usually legal limits on its use. In England, torture was not used so frequently as on the continent, requiring the King or his Privy Council's consent. Law courts on the continent issued torture warrants based on sworn accusations commonly. The Inquisition actually had more limits on its use than the secular courts, ruling that torture could be used only once, though this was [[LoopholeAbuse gotten around]] by "suspending" torture sessions and starting again later. Confessions under torture had to be repeated afterward in court (though the threat of further torture if the accused recanted made this empty). Witchcraft trials saw even these meager protections thrown out. Since witchcraft was the "crimen exceptum", even suspects managing to hold out and not confess under torture would not save them. Instead, it was said the Devil had aided them to resist, blithely ignoring the belief God would do so for an innocent person mentioned earlier. Not until into the 1600s would torture's effectiveness first be questioned. England banned torture in 1640. One story goes that a German prince whose domain had then seen a number of witch trials was concerned with the fantastic things accused witches had confessed under torture, and asked for the Jesuit Order to investigate. They did so, and reported that the practice was proper. Afterward the prince called the Jesuits into a torture chamber, where he brought them to a woman who had already confessed to witchcraft. The prince asked if the Jesuits were involved too. At first she denied it, but then immediately agreed they were when he threatened to have her tortured further. Astonished, the Jesuits became convinced of its failure. Father Frederich Spee, a Jesuit priest who acted as confessor to people convicted of witchcraft, also wrote a groundbreaking book, ''Cautio Criminalis'' (Precautions for Prosecutors) which noted torture's ability to produce false confessions and argued in favor of banning it, with accused witches having the same legal rights. Another was ''On Crimes and Punishments'' by Italian judge Cesare Beccaria, who also argued against capital punishment (again an innovative view). Many governments that use torture are now aware it's its efficacy for getting true confessions is dubious at best. For some, this has meant they prohibit the use of torture due it to being unreliable and cruel. Others, unfortunately, use it to gain confessions they ''know'' are false (used for [[KangarooCourt show trials]] in many dictatorships) or simply to punish their dissidents. TheWarOnTerror has seen a revival of torture being used by Western states, but the same criticisms of this have been made.
24th May '17 4:56:46 PM Fireblood
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* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'' many characters, but especially Sebastian "Bass" Monroe use torture to get information extremely quickly from any captured villain or lesser character. Miles, however, is shown to be resistant to torture as he is the resident badass.

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* In ''Series/{{Revolution}}'' many characters, but especially Sebastian "Bass" Monroe use torture to get information extremely quickly from any captured villain or lesser character. Miles, however, is shown to be resistant to torture as he is the resident badass.
24th May '17 3:38:58 PM Metaphoricalsimile
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Added DiffLines:

*''Series/{{Revolution}}'' many characters, but especially Sebastian "Bass" Monroe use torture to get information extremely quickly from any captured villain or lesser character. Miles, however, is shown to be resistant to torture as he is the resident badass.
23rd Apr '17 9:14:46 PM dmcreif
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* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'': Played with. When Jessica and Simmons capture one of Kilgrave's bodyguards, Simmons wants to pry his kneecap off with a knife to get him to talk, but Jessica points out that he's mind-controlled, so he won't say anything no matter what they do. The bodyguard then says that 1: He's not mind-controlled, and 2: He'll tell them whatever they want, so could they please put the knife away?

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* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'': Played with. When Jessica and Simmons Simpson capture one of Kilgrave's bodyguards, Simmons Simpson wants to pry his kneecap off with a knife to get him to talk, but Jessica points out that he's mind-controlled, so he won't say anything no matter what they do. The bodyguard then says that 1: He's not mind-controlled, and 2: He'll tell them whatever they want, so could they please put the knife away?
31st Mar '17 4:08:38 PM nombretomado
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* ''Film/ZeroDarkThirty'' is a rendition of how OsamaBinLaden was captured. Torture was involved in getting some of the information about his associates. This spurred a lot of controversy and accusations that the film is pro-torture. Yet torture is also clearly shown as [[SubvertedTrope ineffective]] in preventing an attack, as the prisoner is reduced to gibberish and any worthwhile information either came from non-torture interrogation and overlooked files, and the [[WordOfGod director]] said in an interview that the moral ambivalence of the use of torture was [[InvokedTrope intentional]].

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* ''Film/ZeroDarkThirty'' is a rendition of how OsamaBinLaden UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden was captured. Torture was involved in getting some of the information about his associates. This spurred a lot of controversy and accusations that the film is pro-torture. Yet torture is also clearly shown as [[SubvertedTrope ineffective]] in preventing an attack, as the prisoner is reduced to gibberish and any worthwhile information either came from non-torture interrogation and overlooked files, and the [[WordOfGod director]] said in an interview that the moral ambivalence of the use of torture was [[InvokedTrope intentional]].
19th Mar '17 4:58:05 PM Doug86
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* ZigZagged in TabletopGame/Warhammer40K: On the one hand, the Inquisition has grown ''extremely'' skilled at extracting information. Unfortunately some Inquisitors have a [[HoldYourHippogriffs grox-in-a-ceramic-store]] approach which tends to get a lot more innocent ([[BlackAndGrayMorality well, innocent for a given value of innocent...]]) people in the dungeons than actual heretics, and they all end up in the pyre or the penal legions anyway. [[TooKinkyToTorture And in the case of Slaaneshi cultists it doesn't even work]] unless you get really creative.

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* ZigZagged in TabletopGame/Warhammer40K: ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': On the one hand, the Inquisition has grown ''extremely'' skilled at extracting information. Unfortunately some Inquisitors have a [[HoldYourHippogriffs grox-in-a-ceramic-store]] approach which tends to get a lot more innocent ([[BlackAndGrayMorality well, innocent for a given value of innocent...]]) people in the dungeons than actual heretics, and they all end up in the pyre or the penal legions anyway. [[TooKinkyToTorture And in the case of Slaaneshi cultists it doesn't even work]] unless you get really creative.
18th Mar '17 3:03:30 PM Fireblood
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In RealLife, as an interrogation technique for extracting actual usable intelligence, its efficacy varies wildly -- some will tell the truth, others will lie just to spite their torturers, others will clam up under poor treatment, and still others will say ANYTHING to make the torture stop. This last is a major problem with torture -- it is a well-known means to extract false confessions from people, being frequently used for such purposes, and as such any ''intelligence'' gathered in this way is highly unreliable, doubly so because the torture victim will often be playing directly into what they believe that their torturer WANTS them to say. There are also cases where the victims tells the truth but the torture continues anyway because [[CassandraTruth their tormentors don't believe them]]... until, of course, they come up with a convincing lie...

to:

In RealLife, as an interrogation technique for extracting actual usable intelligence, its efficacy varies wildly -- some will tell the truth, others will lie just to spite their torturers, others will clam up under poor treatment, and still others will say ANYTHING to make the torture stop. This last is a major problem with torture -- it is a well-known means to extract false confessions from people, being frequently used for such purposes, and as such any ''intelligence'' gathered in this way is highly unreliable, doubly so because the torture victim will often be playing directly into what they believe that their torturer WANTS them to say. There are also cases where the victims tells the truth but the torture continues anyway because [[CassandraTruth their tormentors don't believe them]]... until, of course, they come up with a convincing lie...
lie... Indeed, the fact that people do lie when tortured into a confession is one reason why this isn't generally accepted evidence in courts.



* In ''Film/DirtyHarry'', San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan presses down on the Scorpio killer's badly wounded leg (he was just shot with a .44 revolver) until he tells him where to find a girl he had kidnapped and left to suffocate. Naturally, he finds out where she is, only to discover that she has already died. The killer promptly [[OffOnATechnicality walks away from the law]] by crying "police brutality", much to Harry's disgust.

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* In ''Film/DirtyHarry'', San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan presses down on the Scorpio killer's badly wounded leg (he was just shot with a .44 revolver) until he tells him where to find a girl he had kidnapped and left to suffocate. Naturally, he finds out where she is, only to discover that she has already died. The killer promptly [[OffOnATechnicality walks away from the law]] by crying "police brutality", much to Harry's disgust. However, in fact there was [[HollywoodLaw more evidence they could have used against him]] than just his confession.



* Discussed at length in ''Film/TheBattleOfAlgiers''. Torture ''does'' work, as the French gain valuable information from it, but the movie depicts it as counterproductive by leading to backlash amongst the Algerian population and even the French public.
* Played with in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'': at one point the crooks try to beat information about TheMole out of a cop they've taken prisoner, but when Nice Guy Eddie shows up he points out that this isn't a reliable technique. Of course, Mr. Blonde turns out to be an AxCrazy psychopath who just wants to torture a cop for no reason, so this ends up being moot.

to:

* Discussed at length in ''Film/TheBattleOfAlgiers''. Torture ''does'' work, as the French gain valuable information from it, but the movie depicts it as counterproductive by leading to backlash amongst among the Algerian population and even the French public.
* Played with in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'': at At one point the crooks try to beat information about TheMole out of a cop they've taken prisoner, but when Nice Guy Eddie shows up he points out that this isn't a reliable technique. Of course, Mr. Blonde turns out to be an AxCrazy psychopath who just wants to torture a cop for no reason, so this ends up being moot.



* Averted in ''Goya's Ghosts''. The father of a woman tortured into confessing to "Judaizing" (refusing pork, and thus supposedly indicating she secretly practices Judaism), brings the Inquisitor who arrested her home for dinner. He questions him on the effect of torture. The Inquisitor assures him than an innocent person will not confess falsely, because God would give them the strength to resist. The father and his sons then torture the Inquisitor into confessing he is a monkey, shaking his belief in the Spanish Inquisition's methods.

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* Averted in ''Goya's Ghosts''. The father of a woman tortured into confessing to "Judaizing" (refusing pork, and thus supposedly indicating she secretly practices Judaism), brings the Inquisitor who arrested her home for dinner. He questions him on the effect of torture. The Inquisitor assures him than that an innocent person will not confess falsely, because God would give them the strength to resist. The father and his sons then torture the Inquisitor into confessing he is a monkey, shaking his belief in the Spanish Inquisition's methods.



* This was believed to be fact for most of Western history. Before the 1600s, torture was simply matter of factly used by courts for extracting confessions. It was believed that God would help a person resist torture if they were innocent, so false confessions were thought to be impossible. Even so, there were usually legal limits on its use. In England, torture was not used so frequently as on the continent, requiring the King or his Privy Council's consent. Law courts on the continent issued torture warrants based on sworn accusations commonly. The Inquisition actually had more limits on its use than secular courts, ruling that torture could be used only once, though this was [[LoopholeAbuse gotten around]] by "suspending" torture sessions and starting again later. Confessions under torture had to be repeated afterward in court (though the threat of further torture if the accused recanted made this empty). Witchcraft trials saw even these meager protections thrown out. Since witchcraft was the "crimen exceptum", even suspects managing to hold out and not confess under torture would not save them. Instead, it was said the Devil had aided them to resist, blithely ignoring the belief God would do so for an innocent person mentioned earlier. Not until into the 1600s would torture's effectiveness first be questioned. England banned torture in 1640. One story goes that a German prince whose domain had then seen a number of witch trials was concerned with the fantastic things accused witches had confessed under torture, and asked for the Jesuit Order to investigate. They did so, and reported that the practice was proper. Afterward the prince called the Jesuits into a torture chamber, where he brought them to a woman who had already confessed to witchcraft. The prince asked if the Jesuits were involved too. At first she denied it, but then immediately agreed they were when he threatened to have her tortured further. Astonished, the Jesuits became convinced of its failure. Father Frederich Spee, a Jesuit priest who acted as confessor to people convicted of witchcraft, also wrote a groundbreaking book, ''Cautio Criminalis'' (Precautions for Prosecutors) which noted torture's ability to produce false confessions and argued in favor of banning it, with accused witches having the same legal rights. Another was ''On Crimes and Punishments'' by Italian judge Cesare Beccaria, who also argued against capital punishment (again an innovative view).

to:

* This was believed to be fact for most of Western history. Before the 1600s, torture was simply matter of factly used by courts for extracting confessions. It was believed that God would help a person resist torture if they were innocent, so false confessions were thought to be impossible. Even so, there were usually legal limits on its use. In England, torture was not used so frequently as on the continent, requiring the King or his Privy Council's consent. Law courts on the continent issued torture warrants based on sworn accusations commonly. The Inquisition actually had more limits on its use than secular courts, ruling that torture could be used only once, though this was [[LoopholeAbuse gotten around]] by "suspending" torture sessions and starting again later. Confessions under torture had to be repeated afterward in court (though the threat of further torture if the accused recanted made this empty). Witchcraft trials saw even these meager protections thrown out. Since witchcraft was the "crimen exceptum", even suspects managing to hold out and not confess under torture would not save them. Instead, it was said the Devil had aided them to resist, blithely ignoring the belief God would do so for an innocent person mentioned earlier. Not until into the 1600s would torture's effectiveness first be questioned. England banned torture in 1640. One story goes that a German prince whose domain had then seen a number of witch trials was concerned with the fantastic things accused witches had confessed under torture, and asked for the Jesuit Order to investigate. They did so, and reported that the practice was proper. Afterward the prince called the Jesuits into a torture chamber, where he brought them to a woman who had already confessed to witchcraft. The prince asked if the Jesuits were involved too. At first she denied it, but then immediately agreed they were when he threatened to have her tortured further. Astonished, the Jesuits became convinced of its failure. Father Frederich Spee, a Jesuit priest who acted as confessor to people convicted of witchcraft, also wrote a groundbreaking book, ''Cautio Criminalis'' (Precautions for Prosecutors) which noted torture's ability to produce false confessions and argued in favor of banning it, with accused witches having the same legal rights. Another was ''On Crimes and Punishments'' by Italian judge Cesare Beccaria, who also argued against capital punishment (again an innovative view). Many governments that use torture are now aware it's efficacy for getting true confessions is dubious at best. For some, this has meant they prohibit the use of torture due it to being unreliable and cruel. Others, unfortunately, use it to gain confessions they ''know'' are false (used for [[KangarooCourt show trials]] in many dictatorships) or simply to punish their dissidents. TheWarOnTerror has seen a revival of torture being used by Western states, but the same criticisms of this have been made.
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