Torture Law and Legal Definition

Torture is punishment inflicted in the form of physical or psychological pain inflicted on supposed criminals as a means of intimidation, deterent or punishment, or to induce them to confess their crimes, and to reveal their associates. Torture is a serious violation of human rights. The United States prohibits torture and self-incrimination through the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment and the Eighth Amendment, which expressly forbids the use of "cruel and unusual punishments".

The use of torture is regulated by many international treaties, of which the two major ones are the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. Those who signed the Third Geneva Convention agree not to commit torture under certain circumstances in wartime, and signatories of the UN Convention Against Torture agree to not commit certain specific forms of torture.