The Instigator
bcole875
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Tabibby
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

interrogators should be allowed to torture suspects for information

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,508 times Debate No: 11439
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

bcole875

Pro

Interrogators should be allowed to use torture when a judge deems that there is probable cause that a suspect is withholding life saving information and issues a warrant.
Actions that are normally immoral are justified in self defense. Murder, for example, is normally immoral. But if a police officer gets a clear shot and kills a wrongdoer to save a hostage we would not only justify it but thank god it was done. That is because it's morally correct to favor the rights of innocent people when they conflict with the rights of wrongdoers.
Tabibby

Con

Interrogators should not be allowed to use torture in any case. Because of all of the corruption in our legal system today, who is to say that the investigators would not change and/or manipulate the evidence in a case to where the judge would deem the torture appropriate? Murder in the case of self defense is not always considered 'okay'. There have been cases where an officer has been tried for shooting a person while in the line of duty. Not only that but how far would the torture go? Would the result of the torture be murder itself? Those that you are torturing because of their POSSIBLE knowledge are those innocent people.
Debate Round No. 1
bcole875

Pro

It is illegal for a police officer to use murder when an assailant ceases to be a threat (by being tackled and restrained, surrendering, or fleeing) but officers will be exonerated if they can demonstrate that they had an honest and reasonable belief that murder was necessary to protect an innocent person from another's use of unlawful force. The law should have the same sort of standard for interrogators using torture. Interrogators should be allowed to use as much torture as they have to when a judge deems that there is probable cause that a suspect is withholding life saving information and issues a warrant. The question of whether or not murder would be the result of torture doesn't make sense due to the fact that suspects are no good to interrogators dead.
The idea that we should never torture because we can never be sure that investigators aren't corrupt is wrong. Investigators could, for example, manipulate evidence to frame someone for sexual assault. Does that prove that prison shouldn't exist? Like all decisions, we must base our choices on the best evidence at the time.
Tabibby

Con

While my opponent continues to say that torture is okay and torture would only be used in necessary cases, what happens when this isn't the case anymore? Giving the interrogators the ability to toture would only result in total chaos. Letting those who are supposed to be the example for everyone else bypass the rules just to get an answer should not be allowed. My opponent also brings up the fact that 'we must base our choices on the best evidence at the time'. What do you do when you've tortured a suspect and then find evidence that proves him or her innocent? Tell them you're sorry, give them a muffin basket, and send them on their way? There is no reason that someone should have to be tortured to get an answer. The law enforcement personell have been using the good old fashion way for quite a while now, and going with the old say 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', why should we change it? If there isn't any evidence that says that the person did it, why should we torture them until they admit it? Couldn't that, potentially, allow the actual perpetrator to go free? If there were investigators that tortured someone to the brink of insanity or death, could they not just falsely admit to a crime just to end the pain? Should they be allowed? The answer is no.
Debate Round No. 2
bcole875

Pro

The institutionalized system of inflicting pain on wrongdoers to protect innocent people would not result in "total chaos." Look, for example, at the institutionalized system of imprisoning criminals. It's not perfect. There has been some corruption and there have been times where investigators have made a mistake and put an innocent person in prison. But that doesn't prove that the prison system shouldn't exist because there would obviously be a lot more injustice and chaos without it.
I never stated that interrogators should bypass the rules. I stated that the rules should be changed.
Amnesty Internationals estimate that at least 81 governments practice torture shows that the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. Why else would interrogators, people who are trained and certified at extracting information, in 81 different countries, go to the trouble of breaking the law, and risk being prosecuted to use something that is unnecessary and/or ineffective? Are all of these interrogators savages?
Tabibby

Con

I never said that the prison system shouldn't exist, I have stated that adding torture to the investigation would not work well. The definition of toture is 'the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty' I do agree with the fact that the rules should be changed, but not to include torture. There are other ways of getting information out of people. If the interrogators are trained in extracting information, then why do they need to break the law to extract the information?
Debate Round No. 3
bcole875

Pro

My opponent never said that the prison system shouldn't exist but stated in Round 1 "Because of all of the corruption in our legal system today, who is to say that the investigators would not change and/or manipulate the evidence in a case to where the judge would deem the torture appropriate?" and stated in Round 2 "What do you do when you've tortured a suspect and then find evidence that proves him or her innocent? Tell them you're sorry, give them a muffin basket, and send them on their way?" These statements implied that my opponent believes we should never torture because we can never be sure that the suspect is withholding life saving information. In response to this I used the prison system as an analogy and pointed out that prison wouldn't exist if we based our choices on perfect knowledge rather than the best evidence at the time which would obviously result in far more injustice and chaos.
My opponent contradicted herself in Round 3 when she stated "I do agree with the fact that the rules should be changed" after stating in Round 2 "The law enforcement personnel have been using the good old fashion way for quite a while now, and going with the old say 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', why should we change it?"
My opponent also claims that "there are other ways of getting information out of people." Then why are interrogators, people who are trained and certified at extracting information, in 81 different countries, so convinced that torture works that they are willing to go to the trouble of breaking the law, and risk being prosecuted?
Tabibby

Con

Tabibby forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
bcole875

Pro

Since my opponent forfeited the last round I am going to debate statements that were made on the comments page.
Why do we have interrogators at all if it is impossible to objectively and coherently define a situation where one is withholding vital information? If we knew that we would never have to interrogate anybody at all to find out right?
Every interrogation technique in the world would be useless if it was easy to lie to interrogators. But it's not easy because when a suspect tells them something they are going to ask follow up questions and then corroborate what they are told with other evidence that they have.
Even if a suspect happens to make up a lie that's convincing enough to make a move on, the interrogator is not going to let him go until it's verified, and once it's confirmed that the suspect lied the torture resumes.
Amnesty International estimates that at least 81 governments practice torture. Why would interrogators, people who are trained and certified at extracting information, in 81 different countries, be willing to break the law, and risk being prosectuted to use something that doesn't work? Are all of these interrogators savages?
Tabibby

Con

I do apologize for not posting my argument, technical difficulties arose. But, moving on from that.
I think that you saying that it is not easy to lie to interrogators is correct in most circumstances, but there are excellent liars out there. But if, as you say, suspects in question cannot lie to interrogators is there any need for torture? Because interrogators are trained and certified, again as you said, in extracting information so why would they need to torture people just to get an answer? Are they not qualified and therefore need to turn to torture? I do not agree with torture because of moral standards, I think that there are other ways to extract information from people in question. To answer your question about whether or not all interrogators are savages, no. But that doesn't justify the way that they are recieving information. If you have a good interrogator, then there would be no reason for torture. So maybe instead of allowing people who are authority figures go above the law and torture someone, there should be better training in the interrogation department.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
not really- the difference between torture and other interrogation techniques is that if the person is innocent, while it may be greatly inconvenient for them to have to undergo sharp scrutiny, the harm done is minimal. torturing an innocent person is an entirely different matter. my point was that you could never be sufficiently certain that the person you were torturing possessed the knowledge you wanted to get out of them. if you're wrong the harm done is of an extreme degree.
Posted by debater777 7 years ago
debater777
i agree w/ batman...plus the innocent person being tortured could crack and tell something totally out of the blue
Posted by twreed87 7 years ago
twreed87
Not only is torture wrong, but its terribly unreliable. What happens when you're torturing the wrong guy for information he doesn't have? He has to say something to end the torture, and bam, now you have false information. Also you've tortured an innocent person.
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
lol this power is just asking to be abused.

how do you define objectively and coherently a situation where "one is withholding vital information"?

if you knew that you wouldn't have to torture them to find out :P

unless its restricted to cases where the person in question says "I KNOW BUT I AIN'T TELLING YOUUUUUU" there's not way to prevent such a power from being abused.
Posted by mattrodstrom 7 years ago
mattrodstrom
Though I'm all for rights....

I'm with Dirty Harry on this one

Even though he shoulda been a more, straight up, vigilante :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
bcole875TabibbyTied
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