There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture, such as the Brodequins. Torture was seen as a totally legitimate means for justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain testimonies or confessions.
Method of inflicting pain with the Brodequins
Different types of torture were used depending on the victim's crime and social status. There were also different tortures used according to the customs of each country. Tortures specifically for the legs were used called Brodequins. The victim was placed in a sitting posture on a massive bench, with strong narrow boards fixed inside and outside of each leg, which were tightly bound together with strong rope; wedges were then driven in between the centre boards with a mallet; four wedges in the ordinary and eight in the extraordinary torture. Not infrequently during the latter operation the bones of the legs were literally burst. The brodequins which were often used for ordinary torture were stockings of parchment, into which it was easy enough to get the feet when it was wet, but which, on being held near the fire, shrunk so considerably that it caused insufferable agony to the wearer.