Convicted murderers should never be released
Mudering a person is one of the worst crime that can be committed. It undermines the value of life and the punishment for this should be of comparable caliber. Should the minimum punishment be life in prison, or should the person have a chance to be released - that is what we are debating about.
The motion set forward in this debate is that "CONVICTED MURDERERS SHOULD NEVER BE RELEASED".
The key phrases in this motion are "convicted murderers" and "never be released".
By "convicted murderers" we mean people who have stood trial and have been found guilty by a constitutional court of committing murder. To clarify “murder”, this includes intentional killing only and not accidental killings.
By "should never be released" we mean that such convicts will have a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole. And this is what we will be debating on - whether people who stand within our definition of "convicted murderers" should stay in prison for as long as they live, if not facing capital punishment.
We, being the proposition will try to show that this is the right thing to do and will try to refute the opposition's arguments against the motion.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
the last point put forward by the side proposition is that there can be no assurance that the person has reformed, then is how they suggest that let drug addicts also be confined indefinitely. what is the guarantee that the addict isn't going to resort back to drugs, so lets confine him also!
in most cases a convict comes from violent backgrounds where from childhood he grows up seeing people vent their anger through violence in such an environment the child grows up thinking that it a rational way of reacting and it becomes a habit. in situations like these when the person is put into jails ad given anger management classes he changes and thus he should be given a chance.
coming to the point that the convicts family will be scared of him, we feel that the family will want their loved ones coming out as a new person rather than watch him rot in jail.
if giving a person death sentence can be against his human rights how is keeping him in confinement for the rest of his life any less than death, so is it not against human rights as well.
as the minimum punishment, it will act as a deterrent for future
crimes. People will think twice before committing murder”. This
argument completely overlooks the significance of the intention behind
the punishment given to a convict. The major reason behind giving any
sort of punishment to a person found guilty of murder or any act is to
make them learn a lesson. But by sentencing them with life
imprisonment this intention cannot be fulfilled. The only result of
this step would be further acceleration of the detestation experienced
by the convict. A full stop will be put to any scope of improvement in
the person and it is easy to put a full stop but very difficult to
continue writing after the comma. We the opposition believe in
continuing writing. Also, according to a report, in Unites States of
America, the state spends more than $25,000 per inmate each year which
is more than $1 billion in total. We can easily imagine what the
figures will be if these convicts are made to live their entire lives
in the prison and if the setback to the economies as developed as USA
will be so substantive then we can easily surmise how disastrous an
effect it will have on the less developed countries like India,
Bangladesh,Pakistan,etc.The point that if u keep some one for the rest of their life in confinement then he will try and escape and when he does so he is more blood hungry than before. So by keeping him without giving him an opportunity we are in fact aggravating his anger. First that indefinite confinement does not deter the person from committing crimes in future .Second keeping him in confinement is violating his right to life instead it further elevates the feelings of detestation and resentment. Allowing him to languish in the prison will only frustrate him: not act as a deterrent
In the very first part of the case that they highlighted the fact that these murderers are “products” of the very society we are from. We agree. But yet it seems that there is a drastic difference – they murdered people, whereas most of the rest cannot even think of committing murder. These “bad products” of the society are made only due to existing bad elements within the society. Criminals, themselves, are such bad elements. If left in the society, these murder convicts will lead to the degradation of the society around them. By removing the bad elements of the society, just like we remove malignant cells from a patient, we make the society a better place since the “products” of the society are less likely to be criminals.
The opposition also seems to be quite worried about the effects on the family of the convict, especially if the convict is a parent. What we do not understand is that if a parent actually cared about his/her children why s/he would commit a murder knowing that he would not be able to interact with them properly for the rest of his life. Cases of an actually responsible parent becoming a murder convict are extremely remote. In most cases, the children might be better off without the murderous parents guiding them. The last thing we would want is the child becoming a criminal too. And so here I can refer back to the aforementioned argument – taking out the bad elements will make the society a better place.
As for the comparison that the opposition has made with drug addicts, we think it is a completely unfair comparison as drug addicts who have not committed a crime or murder does not pose an immediate risk to the general people in the way that a proved and convicted murderer does. If drug addicts are released, they may become drug addicts again, but that does not mean they will harm others. However, if murderers are released, they may kill again. As for human rights, they have said that since capital punishment is against human rights, life imprisonment is too. Considering the basis of the argument, we might say that “if life imprisonment is against human rights, the imprisonment of people for long periods is too”, and so on. We believe that life imprisonment is not against human rights because the person is getting shelter, food and is not being tortured. His basic human rights are not being violated. He is only being confined to an area as a punishment for committing a crime. Rather, we are preventing him from violating the right of people to live.Is it really humane to let a convicted murderer go around free and put innocent lives at risk?
Besides this, in response to our “deterrence” argument, the opposition has said that keeping convicts in prison would anger them and would not deter them in the future (To quote: “… that indefinite confinement does not deter the person from committing crimes in future”). They seem to have misunderstood our argument. Firstly, these convicts will never go outside the walls of the prison, so we are not worried about whether he is angry or sad. What we talked about was the deterrence of future crimes because other criminals become afraid of receiving a minimum sentence of life-imprisonment and crime rates drop.
In the presented case, the opposition has brought in sayings that try to make the society a better place. For example, “An eye for an eye will make everyone blind”. What they do not seem to show comprehension of is that these old sayings are not fitting here. In the context of our arguments, if we do what has been proposed in the motion, we would not be taking an eye for an eye – instead, we would not only be preventing the original eye-taker(murderer) from taking more eyes(incapacitation), but we would also make other criminals afraid to take eyes(deterrence). In this way, eye-takings will be reduced and the society will be better, filled with people who have brilliant eyes, and not blind people.
If the proposition connotes the reality as "Drama" then all we can do
is hope that the bubble they live in will burst some day and they will realize
the reality which shouts clearly that ,a mistake was
committed, the payment for the same was also made by serving
imprisonment for 12-15 years but now the time has come to implement
the correction or use the lesson which were corrected or learnt in the
corrective institution or jail to build a better future. There are several cases in which some
mistakes have contributed to a better character position and improved
the role or position in which a person works, which state and support
this reality that when this chance was given, efforts were made to use
them in the most effectual way possible which can be further proven by
the following article in a national newspaper .One of the major points is
that we can never be sure about the circumstances or the reasons which
had actually compelled the person to take the decision of taking
somebody's life. Moving on to our worthy proposition's point of "drastic difference"
between us and the convicts, all we have to say is that we agree that
they have murdered people and that is precisely the reason why they
are denoted as "convicted murderers" but the fact that we are not
ready to give them a chance to change or wanting to believe that they
can change and letting them die, isn't it instead of making us
"drastically different" is actually making us a part of them only??".
Also, as far as their point of "bad products of the society are made
only due to existing bad elements within the society" and "removing
them, just like we remove malignant cells from a patient ", we the
opposition would like to remind them that similar to this is the case
of moldings of the most unusable and worst form of iron, the pig iron
to wrought iron which is the most usable form which further helps in
improving the condition of the economic society just like the process
of reformation or moldings of a "convict" or "bad element" into a more
useful person thus helping in building a better society. Now, coming to
their point of how the prisoners are not being denied their human
rights and not being tortured, the opposition would like to again point
out that that maybe the proposition is forgetting that these convicts
actually experience the worst form of torture that exists which
destroys the person's very existence which is the "mental and
emotional torture" and the number of convicts who can actually bear
this violation of their human right is not extremely remote but zero.
moving ahead, we would like to point out once again that it was on the
basis of the propositions earlier argument according to which "if
capital punishment acts as a deterrent then that means that life
imprisonment will also act as a deterrent too" that we based our
argument which states that "since capital punishment is against human
rights, life imprisonment is too.". It seems the proposition is
contradicting themselves only by their present argument. Further coming
to their point of how we have supposedly "misunderstood" their
argument, our largesse will again allow us to remind our quite
forgetful proposition that how can they presume with such surety that
,( to quote them)"these convicts will never go outside the walls of
the prison, so we are not worried about whether he is angry or sad." ,
when they had themselves earlier stated that there are "resource-poor
countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. which have police forces with
limited resources, without effective systems ". If, according to them,
there are so many chances of inefficiency in the developing countries
then the how can they be so sure that these convicts will not try to
escape??? and we think it can be guess as to how many escapes take
place from the prisons all over the world. This further proves our
earlier point that it is the indefinite confinement which is the
reason behind the culmination of hatred and resentment which compels
the convicts to opt for these steps. In the context of the arguments
made by the proposition, we would like to say that if these are the
ways through which they are trying to make the society a better place
then we are afraid to say that the only thing they are doing is put
the society at a much higher risk. They are "preventing" some more
"brilliant eyes" to enter the society and make it more visionary. The question that the proposition brought out about not knowing if the convict has changed when released, I would like to point out that we had already mentioned that it is only after observing a change in the behavior of the convict will he be released. they tried to counter our argument on human rights by saying that if life imprisonment is against human rights, so is confinement. I would like to clarify that keeping someone behind bars for the rest of his life is equivalent t death. He isn’t given another opportunity and is to live the same routine or the rest of their life. They said that by keeping them in confinement for the rest of their life they are doing them a favor, providing them with shelter and food but they are subjecting the convict to life long torture by the officers. They will be ridiculed, sodomised, insulted and beaten senselessly. And if the proposition wants to suggest otherwise, we would just like to point out that the country that believes the most in human rights – America could not assure it in Guantanamo Bay Further more lets talk about China, where the rule is so ruthless that they can mo down students for protesting, we are to believe that the convicts there will not be subjected to torture.
In addition, keeping these convicts in prison means that the people in the society are freer and this may lead to greater economic activity. This is particularly true for countries where businessmen are often the targets of extortion followed by murder. There are many such countries in South Asia and Africa. Bangladesh is one such country (One can see the search results in a local daily when searched with “businessmen dead” - http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailystar.net&q=businessman+dead&domains=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailystar.net.)
Due to the reduction of crime rates through the punishment proposed by us, the businessmen may act freely, leading to greater economic activity. A better law and order situation may also encourage multinationals to locate in some developing countries.
The proposition believes that the anger management programmes, counseling, sessions, medical facilities etc, as recommended by us, for helping the convicts are supposedly not "fool proof" .In
accordance with that. We might say that several other things are also not full proof. For e.g.: the security systems of the prisons, the police force etc of several countries and especially developing
countries like Bangladesh ,Nepal etc and thus convicts or prisoners can easily escape, so forth and so on. However, while analyzing the case presented by them, what we have noticed is that there is a hell lot of
a difference between the expenses which will be incurred on the basis of the reason, motive and result desired. One price will be paid to save a life and another to help in ending one. To facilitate the means
to an end. Along with this, with the price paid for the classes there will be a potential hope that those expenses surely can be reduced one day but with the policy of indefinite life imprisonment, we cannot
have any such hope and can easily imagine that in the long run, it will be the cost incurred in the proposition's policy which will be higher. Furthermore, the point of the proposition that confining the prisoner in the walls of the jail is economically viable also lacks substance and logic. They need to realize that cost per inmate is much higher than the anger management and other psychological activities. They seem to contradict their own statement by saying on one hand that Bangladesh is an underdeveloped country and on the other by saying that keeping the convicted murderers is economically viable. We wonder how that is economically viable since confining them in the prison would eventually mean setting up of more and more cells and employing more and more persons to supervise the cells which is not so viable for underdeveloped countries which lack the adequate funds and resources. We however feel that unless we give out clear examples it might be a little difficult to understand. Let’s say that once this model of theirs comes into force there are about 10 convicts who have been awarded life imprisonment. Now he state has to provide for these 10 convict and then there are 10 more the next month; they now have to provide for 20 and this number keeps increasing. Instead if they had a counselor the first 10 could have been released and the state would have to provide for less convicts and thus no matter what the time period we consider there will always be less convicts to provide for if they are released. "They need to realize cost per inmates is high. Also if life time imprisonment is the minimum punishment there will be a need to build more cells to provide space for the pre-existing convicts as well as the additional. Instead if there is a counselor then this counselor not only provides for the murder convicts but even those for other crimes as well
For most of us, murdering a person is unimaginable. It takes a great degree of motivation and determination to finally pull the trigger, thrust the knife into a body or to hit someone with full force, knowing that the one doing this is going to watch the victim’s life drain out of his eyes. That final act of defiance has to overcome a mental barrier that prevents us all from going out and killing people. And once that has been overcome, it is easier to do it the second time. That is why serial killers and gang members are often the most ruthless killers. For most murderers, killing for the second time is easier than killing the first time.
We the proposition argued that murderers should never be released because they pose a serious threat to innocent people and reforming them is almost impossible, not foolproof and not economically viable for many countries.
We based our arguments and counter arguments on these basic facts –
1. The murderers will not pose a risk to the people since they will be within prison walls,
2. The punishment of prisoners will deter other criminals from committing murders,
3. The chances of changing a murderer into a good person is almost impossible, not foolproof and not economically viable for many countries,
4. And that life imprisonment is not a breaking of human rights.
However, what the opposition proposed was to overhaul the complete criminal procedure system. They suggest offering counselling classes to all murderers so that they can be changed and made into productive members of the society. They suggest release of this prisoners when a “change has been observed in them” without mentioning how that change will be measured, and only directly offered this very important argument at the second phase of their debate. They have imagined up and presented to us a world where torture that “destroys the person's very existence” is commonplace and almost always happens in prisons and where murderers are like soft clay which can be moulded like the opposition wants them to into good productive members of the society where they will pose no risk whatsoever to innocent people.
Throughout the debate we have emphasized the fact that what the opposition suggested was not practical. Cases of murderers being good again are extremely rare. It is true what the opposition said about many of these murderers being mislead. This is true for people like members of gang. For these people committing is not even a big deal. Convincing them to go against the very ideas they were born into is not only difficult, it is almost impossible. And we cannot even be sure at the end whether their instincts have changed- so we cannot take the risk. They have quoted from the Bible, saying that people SHOULD be healed, but what if they CANNOT be healed. We will not know if they have actually been healed and we simply cannot take that risk. They have imposed the idea that if we follow the motion, we will be one of the murderers since we take their lives. What they fail to understand is that we are saving other people’s lives.
They want to release prisoners once they have observed a change in them – but how do we measure this change? – Can we afford repeated trials? – And how do we know that the changes are for real? - And even if they are, how do we know that the murderers will not change again after release? We think that the better alternative to making guesses which can risk the lives of innocent people is to not make guesses at all.
They have talked about torture through the example of Gitmo. But that is even a thing that most Americans are ashamed off. Civilian prisons do not allow torture, and practising it is a crime. Life imprisonment is not a breaking of human rights since prisoners are getting their basic human rights, and there is a right of people to live without fear, and if murderers were released, that right would be sacrificed.
Near the end of their arguments, they have shown some simple mathematics to show how counselling classes will be cheaper in long run. The proposition was amazed at how vaguely they took the matter of counselling. The example assumed that all the murderers who were counselled would be released. We wish convincing people was that easy. Neither one of us till now seems to be able to convince the other of how we are right – convincing a murderer is going to be even harder. If we do follow their proposal, very few murderers will be released and counselling has to be continued for the rest. And then there are obviously the costs of “observing change” along with the counselling costs. In the end this becomes costlier than the alternative proposed by us and not vice versa. If murderers were to be released so easily, and if I were a murderer, I would pretend to have been changed during the counselling classes, come out, commit crimes again, knowing that all I had to do was pretend to have been changed during the counselling classes that I would have to face in prison.
We argued resource-poor countries like Bangladesh and Nepal would have trouble keeping prisoners on watch during parole and to give counselling classes. In reply to that they suggested that since the prisons were such, prison-escapes would also be high. Here a question arises – should we guess and release prisoners to put innocent people at risk, or should we try our best to stop escapes, which is much easier than monitoring released prisoners. They have to remember the prisoners are also resource-poor, so escaping for them is also not easy.
Besides this we have also pointed out that without the murderers the society would be a better place, as the young people are not being influenced by them. Gang memberships would decrease and less people would be misled. We also pointed out that in some countries businessmen would be freer and economic activity would increase.
In the end, we the proposition think that the governments of countries should do as proposed by us so that they can fulfil the promise of protecting the citizens of the country so that the people do not have to live in fear anymore.
some of the reasons responsible for these convicts to act in such away. What is expected from us humans is again a "humane approach" to help these people. Proper medical facilities etc can be very helpful in these cases instead of just bringing their life to a dead end. There have been numerous convicts who've pursued their degrees from the prison and later have contributed to the building and development of the society as proved before. So the point which we the opposition is remonstrating is that many a times the person who is found guilty of an act may actually be innocent. What is needed is, that one chance to be given to the person. That one chance to improve upon the mistakes that were done before. That one chance to welcome a positive change which will help in SAVING a life. To further prove it that’s its society will for such a move is like there are like almost 10000 petition written to USA President to remove the Code Of Criminal Procedure that after serving the sentence of murder in the prison the person should be left on parole after he or she is deemed fit to be a part of the society again. For that matter even social networking sites such as orkut and facebook have groups and community to support the same. This proves completely the point that it’s the will of the people who wanted change in system unlike the proposition who still don’t accept change
What do you think?