The Scavenger's Daughter

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The Scavenger's Daughter
Bad Cop, Worse Cop

Once a person was convicted of a crime, he or she might be tortured again until they identified his or her accomplices. Critics of these criminal "justice" systems pointed out the absurdity of such a practice: If a person would confess to committing a crime themselves under torture, why would a person hesitate to accuse others while being subjected to incredible pain [source: Beccaria]?

­The Scavenger's Daughter was invented by, and named after, a Brit nam­ed Skevington. It is alternately referred to as Skeffington's gyves. The apparatus consists of a hoop of iron with a hinge in the middle. The victim was forced to crouch on one half of the hoop while the other half was pivoted and placed over his back. (Imagine being placed into a giant set of iron dentures.) The torturer would use a screw to tighten the hinge, crushing the victim further and further into his involuntary crouch. Eventually, ribs and breastbone would crack and the spine could be dislocated. Sometimes the compression was so great that blood would gush from the fingertips and face [source: Parry]. This tool was used against people accused of high treason during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England[source: Innes].

Next, we'll finish up our torturous tour with a set of implements reserved for women.

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