Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Global Honors

First Advisor

Rob Crawford


In the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib investigation and the 2009 CASUSS report on post-9/11 interrogation practices, the question of state-sanctioned torture has become the subject of much public and scholarly debate. In this thesis, the author examines three arguments in support of lawful torture: Alan Dershowitz’s Law of Necessity and the concept of “torture warrants,” Michael Walzer’s “problem of dirty hands,” and Richard Posner’s notion of Constitutional interpretation in times of emergency.