Cesare Baccaria and the Idea of Torture

1284 Words6 Pages
“Analyze Beccaria’s argument against the judicial torture within the framework of Enlightnment values, and explain if you find his position still relevant today.” Cesare Beccaria, an enlightenment era philosopher that argued against the many problems that were wrong with the judicial system. He argued against the judicial torture by using the enlightenment ideas, since torture it was a big concern in his time and that it was lacking fairness and usefulness. Beccaria’s fundamental faith that he truly believed in was that all human beings are rational creatures that can join each other in peace and harmony in order to achieve a mutual benefit. Since the enlightenment ideals consisted of a social contract that all made political authority a legitimate authority because of the individuals within the society who joined together for a mutual benefit. Meaning that the authority that was elected by the society had to be beneficial to the society; as well as the right and wrong actions depended on the effect that these actions had on the unhappiness and happiness of an individual. The Enlightenment was also based on logic and humaneness was coming in to the picture. First of all, Baccaria’s saw torture as inadequate criminal justice procedures, since torture was adopted as a common technique to determine whether an individual was guilty or innocent through use of pain. This in Baccaria’s eyes is deemed as useless. Since the tortured party can be proven guilty or innocent based on their pain tolerance, if an individual who has committed a crime and is being tortured however their pain tolerance is very high and they are able to take the pain they may be judged as innocent, however if and individual is innocent or guilty has a low pain tolerance and is not able to cope with the pain and confesses then it no longer matters whether he committed the crime or not, thus making
Open Document