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Round 4: souls vs intrepid - "Life in Prison for Youth"

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posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Life in prison, without the possibility of parole, is a just sentence for a child under the age of 14.”

"souls" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"intrepid" will be arguing the "Con" position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

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posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 03:05 PM
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This is my 24 hour extension.



posted on Feb, 17 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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The ability to premeditate a crime, even one that would take the life of several people is a trait taught, but at the same time requiring self control to choose to realize. We have the ability to coordinate every single detail as to how we are going to execute the genius plan. The intended target, the time, place, weapon, and even visualize the strategic advantages you have and how to exploit them. More and more, these traits are being ingrained into the culture of the United States, into the daily lives of the people and perfected in us by teaching the future generations how to kill living beings. Teaching them how to determine the most successful method of eliminating their intended target. It is only fair to say that this education does not always translate into murder, but the effect is most evident as an increase in aggression, competitiveness, selfishness, greed, disregard for all others and their right to exist, which can lead to murder. But still, self control is required and not everyone is controlled by this education even some children who have suffered violence at home can manage to control their emotions at an early age.

The increase in violent entertainment, war propaganda and domestic violence are the main contributing factors to this because this has shaped the state of mind of a significant majority of the populace. The increased outreach of these elements is an important contributing factor as well because in the past, information has not had this increased level of speed in how it spreads across the population. Unfortunately, past generations have fallen to the same exposure to violence, and as a result, have taught their children a revised and recycled version of this violence. At the same time we cannot blame the parents because then we would have to blame their parents and so on, but there exists the responsibility of guiding children on how to differentiate and understand emotions of hate and distrust. One can only hope that vicious cycles of violence would seize within family units but unfortunately some kids learn at a very early age how to take the life of another living being, and they learn to do it with reason, with feelings of hate and distrust.

This is why life in prison, without the possibility of parole, is a just sentence for a minor under 14 years old because murder requires critical thought processes that can easily be discarded. A child understands, even one whom is under 14 years old, the difference between life and death. This is important because murder is taking the right of another person to live, and it is only just, that the murderer suffer the consequences, with their own life. The brain of most children may not fully mature until early into adult hood, but there are children who mature much faster and even at an early age, can show signs of adult level, mature thought processes, including murder, which we accept as an adult thought process, when most of the details have been premeditated, even by a child.

Unfortunately, this subject deals with the lives of victims and perpetrators who are all living beings, and all have a right to life. One can blame it on society itself, the parents, or the media, but regardless, the psychological aspects are the responsibility of the individual committing the murder. Public safety is the main concern in this debate and we cannot release a murderer back into the streets of our cities after spending their entire lives incarcerated. The life of a prisoner is all they know. Can these kids really be rehabilitated? Do we just forgive and release them into society because they are murdering children? If our society chooses to incarcerate people because of their murder, but 25 years later release them back into society knowing full well the type of people whom they have spent those 25 years with. For children this is setting them up to a life of crime, being influenced by their new family within. Those feelings of hate will still exist, accentuated by the new found knowledge provided by the fellow career criminals within. A murderer, specially a child under 14 years should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole, because it is a just sentence considering the crime committed and the possibilities of retribution by the parolee. We cannot ignore the crime because they are children and specially if they are children because that is all they will know.



posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 05:57 PM
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To begin, several inferences have to be established.

The international community does not completely follow the example of countries who have life sentencing for murderers. Since the topic can be applied to any given country, I have focused my attention to the United States of America. Covering all other countries would be too expansive in my opinion, and the U.S. system of law is a good example. Second, the focus of the debate is on the children who have received life sentences for their extreme crime, as I will explain.

The amount of children in prison with life sentences for murder, is a small portion of the entire prison population. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the estimated amount of children serving life sentencing without parole in the U.S. is close to 2600. This is compared to 1 in 10 of the nations prisoners whom are serving life sentences, back in 2005. One must understand that for a child to receive this kind of sentencing, the circumstances must be so great. In the U.S., this varies by State, but the general consensus is that the perpetrator must have acted on his own, on his feelings while using coordination, and tact. Even though feelings, and emotions can be so great, it is the responsibility of the individual to understand why it is not right to take the life or the livelihood of another individual when it is done out of pure malice.

There are many examples of the crimes committed by some of the children in prison for life.


One night in August 1999, Jones and her 16-year-old boyfriend, Geramie Hart, angered by her family's disapproval of their relationship, went to her home in Birmingham, Alabama.

They set her grandfather on fire with lighter fluid, stabbed him and shot him dead.

They also stabbed and shot dead Jones' aunt in her bedroom and set her grandmother on fire.

Reference 1

In this example, Ashley Jones at the time was 14 years old. Together with her boyfriend, they maliciously executed a coordinated plan to rid herself of the family because they did not approve of their relationship. She acted on illogical emotions that may have obviously been influenced by her boyfriend. Regardless, she committed this murder, acted the same way an adult may act over something like this situation.


Miller and accomplice Colby Smith killed Cole C. Cannon, 52, in his mobile home July 15, 2003. The two teens, 14 and 16 at the time, allegedly stole baseball cards and $350 from Cannon before beating him with a baseball bat, setting his mobile home on fire and leaving him to die.

Reference 2

Michael Miller robbed this man because he wanted some baseball cards. Did he kill him to get rid of the evidence? This is an adult thought process being shown by children so young. Mr. Cannon had a right to live. Because Michael understood what he was doing he annot possible be released into society, not after this.

Cases such as the above are just a few examples of the reason why a child of 14 years or younger, receive sentences covering their entire life. It is unconstitutional in the U.S. to execute a minor, so the only options at this time is to imprison the murderer or release him back into society. There are cases were children receive life sentences for other crimes besides murder. Some may receive it because of less severe crimes such as repeated burglary.


In one of the cases, Graham v. Florida, Terrance Graham was 17-years-old and on parole when he broke into a man's home and robbed him at gunpoint. Graham pleaded guilty to armed burglary and was sent to prison for the rest of his life. The judge who imposed the sentence concluded that Graham had wasted his second chance at freedom and was a significant threat to society.

Reference 3

This trend by an individual is most definitely dangerous, but even I agree that some sentences are based on corrupt reasoning, by enforcers of the law, and maybe even society as a whole. A child who may be engaged in such crimes may in essence be eligible for rehabilitation, but the risk is still present. A child, or an adult who coordinates a murder, will do it again if they get away with it. It is only when they are serving prison time when they feel they need forgiveness and that they can change.

The mind of a murderer, is the mind of a psychopath. A psychopath will lie, and deceive in order to further their personal agenda. Can we really trust that these criminals are telling us the truth when they say they have changed? In the above examples one can easily see that children can think like adults. The act of killing someone does not differentiate from a child to an adult, if it is done out of pure malice.

Question 1: Because your defense may lead to the success of rehabilitating murderers, what success have rehabilitation programs had on reforming and releasing convicted murderers back into society?

Question 2: Considering the points presented, do you believe that a person whom has taken the life of another in a murderous plot, have a right to life outside of a control within society?



posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 12:07 PM
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I know this will piss some off but I don't have a choice. I'm dealing with some serious Union/management issues right now and after those debates I honestly don't have the energy to put into this. My apologies to chissler, souls and the readers.



posted on Feb, 25 2010 @ 06:40 AM
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souls moves to the finals.





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