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You Athenians hold the opinion that both in public and in private matters examination under torture is the most searching test; and so, when you have slaves and free men before you and it is necessary that some contested point should be cleared up, you do not employ the evidence of free men but seek to establish the truth about the facts by putting the slaves to torture. This is a perfectly reasonable course; for you are well aware that before now witnesses have appeared not to be giving true evidence, whereas no one who has been examined under torture has ever been convicted of giving false evidence as the result of being tortured.

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