Procedure relative to torture.
Judgments & Reports
The Question & Torture.
IF there is considerable & consistent proof against the Accused of a crime that merits the penalty of death, any Judge may ordain that he be tortured, in the event that the proof not be sufficient.
JUDGES may also conclude that, notwithstanding the condemnation to torture, the proof will remain unchanged, in order to be able to condemn the Accused to various pecuniary or afflictive punishments; except however the penalty of death, to which the Accused who has been submitted to torture without admission of guilt, will not be
condemned, unless new proof has been brought forth since being put to the question [tortured].
UNDER the sentence of death it may be ordained that the Condemned first be subjected to torture, to obtain a revealing of accomplices.
IF he who is condemned to death by judgment of the Provost, & in the last instance, is first subjected to torture, and reveals any accomplices, they shall be arrested immediately; confrontation of the accomplices can then be done, unless the Provost was not declared competent in securing the identity of the accomplices: he will then be subjected to a judgment of his competence.
WE FORBID all Judges, other than in our Courts alone, to ordain that the Accused be put to torture without it being carried out.
THE Judgment of condemnation to torture will be concluded & signed in the moment, & the court Reporter assisted by one of the other Judges will make his way directly to the torture room, to have it pronounced to the Accused.
SENTENCES of condemnation to torture will not be executed, until they have been confirmed by a Judgment of our Courts.
THE ACCUSED will be interrogated after having sworn an oath, before being subjected to torture, & will sign his interrogation; if not his refusal will be noted.
TORTURE will be applied in the presence of the Commissaires, who will note in their report the form of torture, & the responses,
confessions, denials, & variations under each article of the interrogation.
It will be left to the Commissaires to have some of the rigors of torture reduced & relaxed, if the Accused confesses; & if he wavers, to have him [re]subjected to the same rigors: but if he has been untied & removed from the torture seat he will not be subjected to it anew.
FOLLOWING the Accused being removed from the torture seat, he will be promptly & anew interrogated on his declarations, & on the facts confessed or denied by him; & the interrogation will be signed by him: if not his refusal will be noted.
WHATEVER new proof is brought forth, the Accused will not be subjected to torture twice for a same fact.
Source: Louis XIV, "Procedure relative to torture, in l'Ordonnance ... pour les matières criminelles " (: Chez les Associés, 1670).