Title: Prohibit the Torture of Prisoners in the United States of America
Resolved, the House of _________ concurring, that the 76th General Convention requests the Congress of the United States to prohibit torture including long-term solitary confinement and every cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in all prisons, jails, and other places of confinement within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction, following the definition of torture in Part 1, Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
“If you have done it to one of the least of these you have done it to me.” Testimony of guards and prisoners and photographs of prisoner abuse provide evidence of torture in our prisons. A federal law is necessary to stop torture because prisoners are commonly transferred from one state to another.
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment defines torture:
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.