Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Koch: Pardon My (Productive) Torture

In a Real Clear Politics editorial here, Ed Koch has linked the pardon power to the hot topic of prisoner interrogation and the use of torture. Koch writes, among other things:

I believe that torture may be warranted in the "ticking bomb" situation, where the interrogators reasonably believe based on credible information in their possession that the suspect knows where the "ticking bomb" is located and no other source is available to them. I do not believe there should be any statute or regulation authorizing torture, but we must depend on interrogators of conscience, mindful of the consequences of their actions. If any such interrogator is wrong in his judgment, tortures the suspect and elicits no bomb information, he should be indicted and serve a prison sentence upon conviction. If he elicits information that allows the "ticking bomb" to be located before it goes off, in all probability, he will be hailed as a hero and probably not indicted, or if indicted, probably not convicted by any jury which will exonerate him using the doctrine of jury nullification. If he were to be convicted under these circumstances, he could expect a presidential pardon in the interest of justice.

Hmm. One just has to wonder about this line of thinking ...

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