In ancient Rome, the general rule was that slaves could be tortured freely. In fact, it was strongly suggested that any free man accused of a crime should have his slaves tortured, often executed, at his place before a verdict could be reached. But that didn’t stop the Roman elite from torturing the free men and women of their country. Roman law always had loopholes, and the elite rulers took advantage of every loophole.
Emperor Caligula was just as cruel as old Tiberius. At one point, he had a senator slit open. The senator survived, and Caligula ordered that his eyes be removed. After that, hot pincers were used to take out his internal organs. To add to the degradation, the senator was cut in half and torn to pieces.
According to Roman belief, death was not a punishment, but a release. The torture was punishment, and death was only allowed after a certain amount of pain and terror had been felt.