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Old February 26 2013, 03:34 AM   #333
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Re: Castle Season 5 (including Spoilers)

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
While I agree with everything you say and regret the decision to allow Castle to use torture (it's understandable that a man in Castle's position would do it to save his daughter, but Kate should have prevented it, even with the Captain essentially giving them carte blanche), I don't think it's unbelievable in this case that the guy would instantly give up the correct information. He's not a soldier, spy, or true believer, he's just a petty criminal turned hired gun, and since he presumably already got paid for his part he doesn't have any reason to show his former employers any loyalty, especially after taking a bullet for his troubles. I think once Castle established that he was going to cross a line the police wouldn't, that was enough for him to spill the beans.
But the reasons why torture is unreliable have nothing to do with the courage or training of the victim or their ability to resist pain. On the contrary, one of the main reasons is that torture victims will readily lie just to make the pain stop. It's not about being truthful, just about saying what you think the torturer wants to hear. And another main reason is neurological: the trauma of torture actually impairs the brain's ability to recall and report information accurately. So if you need to extract, say, a phone number or an address or the time a bomb is set to go off, then even if the victim isn't lying, they might get a number wrong, or simply be unable to remember a crucial detail, because of the trauma you put them through.

If anything, both of those strike me as things that would be more true with someone who wasn't a mentally disciplined soldier or agent.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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