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Word Count: 1,616
The story of torture may at first look like an unchanging series of evil tactics leading from one era to the next but this is not completely true Torture has been used continuously from ancient methods to the modern styles of today It has also developed extensively both in severity and variety of methods used But in the end torture is still torture The modern forms are more like those methods used by savages than anything in between Overall the severity of torture has fluctuated growing and receding with the passing of each new time period but eventually reverting to its original state Torture as defined by most governments is usually taken to be any number of manipulations of the mind or body used to obtain a confession But this definition does not fully describe the word By English law records torture of this kind has never even occurred in the British Isles Scott 2 But we have considerable evidence of its use in the witch-trials of the seventeenth century Notestein 167 Also many so-called punishments enforced under British law are really nothing more than roundabout forms of torture It has always been the custom of the State to put tortures into the class of punishment to justify their use Scott 1 So the full definition of torture includes not only the usual idea of suffering but any form of harsh punishment designed to inflict pain for revenge or cruelty There are also several varieties of torture throughout time Until the twentieth century most forms of torture that were recognized as such were purely physical in nature The breaking of bones manipulation or mutilation of a persons body and the application of fire or other tools of punishment were the main forms of recognized torture But there is also psychological torture In the Spanish Inquisition inquisitors would show the equipment used for torturing to potential victims to scare them into surrendering This form of psychological
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