Friday, September 15, 2006

Do The Results Of Torture Pass The Rules Of Evidence?

Torture produces uncertain results. While it may be strategically useful, it is not enough to convict in court. Torture a man and he will turn in his neighbor. It is an injustice.

Yet wartime arrestees deserve the best justice our system can deliver.

One third of detainees turn out to be innocent. Until their fate is decided, all must be presumed innocent and must be treated as if they are already in the innocent third.

Judges decide. Punishment before trial is not allowed in the American system of justice. Endless detention before trial is not allowed in the American system of justice. For detention of any length, there must be a judicial process.

If investigation determines that a prisoner should be punished, will the court reject evidence obtained under torture? If the prisoner has been tortured, does that pollute the evidence against him?

Do results of the prisoner's own torture enter into evidence against him?

What court would allow that?

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