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 Nero took delight in having people buried alive. He almost exclusively saved this punishment for vestal virgins who broke their vows of chastity. In one account, Nero forced himself on the priestess Rubria. For her punishment, she was entombed inside a small cave and left to starve to death.
Another torture supported by Nero involved the accused digging his own grave. After it was dug, a stake was set inside the grave. The accused was then bound and pushed into the grave. If his crime were minor, he would be pushed so that the stake pierced through his heart. Anyone convicted of a heinous crime was pushed so that the stake mortally wounded him. He was then left to die in excruciating pain or was buried alive.