Jurisprudence Governing the Use of Torture

Prospero Farinacci (Detail)
Cenotaph in memory of Prospero Farinacci (1544-1618), attributed to Domenico Fontana (1543-1607), in the Church of S. Silvestro al Quirinale in Rome.

Photo:  Marlene Carlson (July 2007)

7. If judges have sufficient proof to permit torture, they must issue a decree in which all the evidence is cited.  The defendant may appeal the decree to a higher court

8. If a judge proceeds to torture a person after an appeal has been made, any confession is completely null and void

9.  If a defendant does not confess under torture, it may not be repeated unless there is compelling new evidence.  If a judge repeats torture without new evidence, the confession is  void

10. If defendants have confessed under torture and refuse to "ratify" their confession in court, they can be tortured again.  But only once

11.  The evidence against defendants must be given to them before torture.  A defendant may not renounce a right to defense. 

12. Witnesses can only be tortured if they give vacillating testimony