Talking To Screens - No issue captures the power of the state over the individual like torture... The state cannot be allowed this power of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on someone or we are living in a hellish nightmare. So that is why it was so dangerous when Scalia stated that torture was not unconstitutional. Judge Scalia: "The Constitution says nothing whatever about torture. It speaks of punishment; 'cruel and unusual punishments' are forbidden." So is torture forbidden? "If it is imposed as a punishment, yes, " Scalia said. "If you condemn someone who committed a crime to be tortured, that would be unconstitutional."
Do you see the massive potential for abuse of power here? You could be sentenced for a simple crime and the state would have the right to torture you - as long as they claim they were doing it for a reason other than punishment. How about to set an example as a deterrent? Would that be good enough? What if the state said, "We have no desire to punish this inmate. We're merely using torture so the rest of you will learn that we mean business"? How about if the state is just improving our torture methods? "We're just torturing you so we'll be ready later if we have to torture the bad guys. Think of this as patriotic torture." What if - God forbid - one of our leaders turns out to be a twisted psychopath and just enjoys it? Torture wouldn't be punishment then - it'd be for fun.