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Torture and the criminal law have a long and ignominious association that continues to the present day. In his short book, poised gracefully between simplicity and learning, John Langbein discusses only one of the many forms of this association. He is concerned with torture as a legally permissible technique of obtaining evidence from the defendant in the course of judicial interrogation. In a further narrowing of focus, the author approaches judicial torture as a student of the law of evidence. He centers on the relationship of torture to standards of proof sufficiency. His main purpose is to propose a novel thesis about the abolition of judicial torture on the continent of Europe.

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