March 21, 2012
Human rights activists rallied in downtown L.A. on Tuesday to call for intervention by the United Nations to stop the torture of prisoners by an amoral regime. But they weren't talking about Syria, Cuba or some African dictatorship; the rogue state in question is the state of California. The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, along with a handful of prison-advocacy groups, submitted a petition to the U.N. requesting an on-site investigation of conditions in California's Security Housing Units, the segregated cells where prisoners suspected of gang involvement are placed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2001
It is the height of irresponsibility for a commentator of professor Alan Dershowitz's prominence to assert (Commentary, Nov. 8) that "any interrogation technique, including the use of truth serum or even torture, is not prohibited" under the Constitution. The Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment," that is, torture. Furthermore, torture--a form of aggravated battery--violates the criminal law in every jurisdiction in the U.S., and the police are not exempt from these laws.
November 11, 2001
Re "Is There a Torturous Road to Justice?" Commentary, Nov. 8: I'm surprised law professor Alan Dershowitz thinks that extracting information by torture could be legal under U.S. law. He has evidently forgotten that we signed, ratified and executed the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. It provides: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."
October 9, 2010 |
It has been clear for years that the Bush administration's decision to torture captured Al Qaeda terrorists leaves the United States in a wretched position when it comes to determining the prisoners' ultimate fate. No American court ever is going to allow the admission of confessions or evidence obtained by torture. Thus, despite the federal judiciary's flawless record of dealing firmly and equitably with cases of domestic and foreign terrorism, the Bush/Cheney White House made sure that trying these criminals would be hideously difficult.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- The United Nations' lead torture investigator says he is worried about increased use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and wants access to California lockups to ensure that prisoners' rights are being protected. "We should have more justification" for putting prisoners in isolation, Juan Mendez, the UN's special rapporteur (reporter) on torture told The Times' editorial board Friday. He called for greater scrutiny of prison systems that routinely put inmates in solitary confinement.
May 17, 2013 |
Spoiler alert! "Scandal" is the most cynical show on television. No seriously, don't read any further if you care about what happened on Thursday night's finale but disobeyed the directive to watch it in real time. Because for weeks now, creator Shonda Rhimes has been warning her "gladiator" fans that if they missed watching the final five minutes in "real time," they'd be kicking themselves all summer. One assumes she is referring to the big "What's Up Doc?" rip-off of a final scene in which Olivia (Kerry Washington)
December 21, 2012 |
When it comes to “Zero Dark Thirty,” there's been a lot written about the CIA and torture - whether it looked in real life the way it does on screen, whether it was effective, whether it was ethical. As we've been reporting this week, John McCain and other lawmakers don't agree it went down that way . The film, they say, misrepresents how the CIA found Osama bin Laden. Filmmakers say they've created an accurate depiction. Now that the movie has opened, we thought we'd ask you what you thought of the scenes.
March 27, 2014 |
Based on a true story only in the loosest sense, "Boys of Abu Ghraib" dramatizes the torture of terror suspects at the hands of American guards during the Iraq war. Unlike the few documentaries on the subject, the film views the events through an American serviceman's perspective and argues that Abu Ghraib was as much a prison sentence for some of the captors as it was for their detainees. Writer-director-star Luke Moran retreads many archetypes and tropes left over from movies about the Vietnam and Korean wars, refusing to engage modern military rules and realities as laid out in his film's contemporaries, such as "The Hurt Locker" and "Lone Survivor.