In the field of Criminal Justice, there are many topics of controversy. One topic of controversy is the use of third degree tactics on suspected terrorists. This topic has gotten worse since September 11, 2001 when the terror attacks happened on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There are pros and cons to every controversial issue. Four cons that are related to this topic are the following: Police may be torturing an innocent person; Police could kill a person without trying to; Civilians may become scared by hearing police doing such things; It causes a lot of controversy in our society.
On the other hand, there are positives as well. The four pros of this controversy are that police can get important information on terrorists; It can save lives if it provides information of an impending terrorist attack; It may scare other terrorists because of the methods used to extracting information, Also it may make civilians feel safe knowing that police have custody of a suspected terrorists that could have been trying to kill people.
Even though police could be torturing an innocent person, they should use the tactics because it may scare terrorists because of their methods of xtracting information and it could possibly save lives if the police have received information of an impending terrorist attack. In theory, police interrogations are to overcome resistance of individual suspects that have been presumed guilty. In order to achieve this goal, police may use a combination of negative or positive tactics. Getting a confession from someone is not a simple task, even though detectives sometimes get confessions from innocent people.
No two interrogations are the same, but most exploit weaknesses in human nature. These weaknesses typically rely on stress when eople experience contrasting extremes, like control and dependence, dominance and submission, and the maximization and minimization of consequence. Even the most hardened criminal will end up confessing as long as the interrogator can find the right combination of techniques that are based on the suspect’s personality and experiences. In the United States, scholars came to an estimate of that is somewhere between 42% and 55% of suspects confess to a crime when they are being interrogated.
Police interrogations weren’t always this complex, not until the early 1900s anyway. In the United States, physical abuse was an acceptable (if not legal) method to getting a confession. Confessions obtained by the interrogation techniques-deprivation of food or water, bright lights shining in the eyes, physical discomfort and long time in isolation, beating with a rubber hose or other instruments that doesn’t leave any visible mark. This was usually admissible in court as long as the suspect signed and agreed to a waiver, stating that his confession was voluntary.
Only between the 1930’s and 1960’s been when there was a crackdown on the police tactics which gradually changed. In 1966, when the case Miranda v. Arizona reached the Supreme Court, police interrogations took another blow. After two hours of interrogation and the appeal to the Supreme Court realized that Miranda didn’t know his rights of remaining silent, which is the Fifth Amendment and the right to counsel, which is the Sixth Amendment. Even though third degree is brutal, it is a form of justice which can be missed to see. Law Enforcement only uses such harsh treatments to those they knew were guilty.
The Wickersham Commission studied cases which involved third degree interrogations which they stimated that a great majority of the suspects were guilty. Third degree tactics has been basically extinct in police practices, although there are still arguments in favor of torture. Torture is used for informational purposes, such information about a threat on human lives. I personally think that is justified for them to do. This torture could give us timely, reliable, life-saving information. In every war, the most dangerous or effective weapon is information.
Information can matter even more when the adversary wears no uniform and blends in with the civilian population, in a “war against terrorism”. Can torture ometimes be justified to extract information? The international law says “No. ” as laid down in treaties like the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; all ban torture or any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments, even in times of war. Most civilized people squirm of the thought of putting suspected terrorists on a rack or taking their toenails off.
What if the suspect knew of the whereabouts of a ticking bomb or maybe a biological, chemical or even a nuclear bomb? Couldn’t a little bit of sleep deprivation, or sexual humiliation, aybe even water-drinking be justified to save hundreds or thousands of lives? In a BBC survey of 27,000 people in 25 countries last October, including America, over one of three people in nine of those countries considered the tactics of torture acceptable if it saves lives. The people who opposed were mostly from Europe and English-speaking countries.
In another poll in 2005 by the Pew Research Centre found that nearly half of all Americans thought torturing suspected terrorists were sometimes justified. One objection to allowing moderate physical pressure is that it’s difficult to know where to draw the line. As of this modern time, Israel is the only country that openly allows “moderate physical pressure” as a “last resort”. The fact that we could get lifesaving information from suspected terrorists by using such tactics is justifiable enough. We could get all sorts of information from the suspected terrorists just by inflicting a bit of pain onto them.
Just think about it for a second, if you work for a big business and a terrorist decided to try and destroy the place while you’re working with all your friends and colleague and the police found the terrorist and inflicted pain to the person which told the uthorities about a bomb at that business and disarms it which saves everybody’s life, wouldn’t you be glad the authorities did what they did to save your life? Plus, these tactics just might scare other terrorists who plan on doing harm. Many citizens don’t like the fact of torturing people, no matter the situation.
Many people think that it’s inhumane for law authorities to be doing such tactics. According to a BBC World Service poll of more than 27,000 people in 25 different countries, a majority of people all around the world oppose to torture even if its elicit nformation that could save innocent lives from terrorism. The poll outcome shows that 59 percent of the world’s citizens are unwilling to compromise on the protection of human rights, but 29 percent think that the government should be allowed to use some degree of torture to combat terrorism.
Most Americans (58%) are completely against any use of torture. Terrorists have an extreme threat on the government that they should be justified to use some sorts of torture to gain information that saves innocent lives. Many people disagree with the thought of torture. One agreement used is that clear rules against torture shall be ontrolled because torture, of any form, is immoral and will weaken the international human rights standards against torture usage.
Italians are the most opposed to all circumstances of torture, a total of 81% to be exact. Only India has more people who are allowing “some degree of torture:” Thirty-two percent say that using physical force can be permissible and a bit more than 23 percent say that the existing rules should stay maintained. Forty-five percent of Indian respondents favor neither position or just didn’t answer. The largest percentage found for allowing torture in Israel,