The prohibition against torture as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
is not limited to acts causing physical pain or injury. It includes acts that
cause mental suffering—. through threats against family or loved ones. As
the . Supreme Court has recognized, "coercion can be mental as well as physical…the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition" Miranda v. Arizona , 384 . 436, 448, (1966) citing Blackburn v. State of Alabama , 361 . 199 (1960). As discussed below, the use of mind-altering drugs to compel a person to provide information would at least amount to inhuman or degrading treatment under the Convention against Torture.
In 1983 Texas sheriff James Parker and three of his deputies were convicted for conspiring to use waterboarding to force confessions. The complaint said they "subject prisoners to a suffocating water torture ordeal in order to coerce confessions. This generally included the placement of a towel over the nose and mouth of the prisoner and the pouring of water in the towel until the prisoner began to move, jerk, or otherwise indicate that he was suffocating and/or drowning."  The sheriff was sentenced to ten years in prison, and the deputies to four years.