PHR has done considerable research on the impact of psychological torture techniques used by US personnel on terrorism suspect detainees and has now applied that work in a new context: Domestic US incarceration and treatment of prisoners.
PHR filed a brief on February 4, 2010, in a death penalty case which is being brought before the US Supreme Court for possible review. At issue in the case is the question of the voluntariness of statements implicating a defendant in a murder plan. PHR's brief argues that the statements the defendant made were the result of abusive conditions of confinement that were tantamount to torture, damaging his cognitive functions and making it impossible for him to voluntarily exercise his will. PHR's brief argues that using his statements against him violates the Constitution's prohibition on using involuntary statements against criminal defendants.