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Which side makes a better case?
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  • 2 years ago

    @liamm @metant3 Great debate guys!

    Please note that the winner for this round will be determined based on the best out of 3 votes i.e. community + 2 judges. Your confirmed judges so far: @kelleykrook @josh808

    • 2 years ago
      • 2 years ago

        Again, @liamm and @metant3, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. I wanted to let you know that as one who competitively debated for five years, that I flowed every argument and took a look at both the specific and big picture. Again, if this wasn't clear in the video, because CON won the point that some people are not able to be rehabilitated, and that life was a superior alternative as argued than rehabilitation (whilst examining all the rebuttals and re-rebuttals), I vote CON. I vote CON as well on the Robinson and Kimper examples.

      • 2 years ago

        @josh808 Thanks for the judgement Josh. As with almost all of your judgements I agree with nearly everything you say. Appreciate it mate.

    • 2 years ago
      • 2 years ago

        Please DM/comment with any concerns or questions.

      • 2 years ago

        @kelleykrook well put man, I disagreed with you but you established a very clear and detailed judgment. 👍

      • 2 years ago

        @josh808 I appreciate it, bro!

      • 2 years ago

        Good analysis of the round over Aaron, I love seeing your judgements and appreciate the time you put into them.
        I respectfully disagree with how you come to the conclusion in the last 30 seconds though. I normally dont argue in the comments but wanted to get a better understanding of this decision.

        If the debate comes down to the two examples as you say it does, its absurd that you vote pro.
        You say "I vote Pro on the argument that we cant know what someone will do in the future and its unfair to put children in jail before they commit a crime".
        I'm not sure if you missed it, but both Ed Kemper and Harvey Robinson repeatedly had committed crimes, were locked up, and let out again. My argument wasnt that we put adolescents in jail BEFORE they commit a crime. Harvey Robinson raped and murdered 2 girls, went to rehabilitation, was released again and then raped and murdered more people. Its factually incorrect to say that we will be punishing a child who hasnt committed a crime.
        Ed Kemper murdered both his grandparents and went to rehab in prison. He was released a year later, murdered someone else and was put back into rehab. Several years later he was let out again raped and murdered 9 people. I think its probably a pretty fair prediction to make that if you let Ed out again, he'll kill and my analysis on the impact of keeping Ed locked up vs. more girls being raped and murdered goes conceded.

        Of COURSE we shouldnt lock people up just because there is a slight potential chance of them committing a crime. But when there is a pattern of violent crime and rehab isnt working, what do you do? Under my opponents view of the res you HAVE to keep letting Ed out to kill people.

        Help me understand how you come to the decision that we should let Ed and Harvey back out. Was i not clear enough in detailing their stories? Was I not clear enough in how violent repeat offenders who have failed rehab have a much higher chance of killing when theyre let out?

      • 2 years ago

        @metant3 Hey man! Happy to clarify my judgment.

        Just to be clear, my role as the judge is not to decide what we should or should not do. It is also definitely not to debate the resolution. My role is to listen to the arguments as presented, exclude personal bias as much as possible, and then deliver a decision based on those arguments. I try not to do work for either debater, even when it would make the decision easier. I am by no means a perfect judge, but I will explain why I vote Pro.

        I got that Robinson and Kimper were repeat offenders. It wasn't about punishing a kid who did not commit a crime. Pro's argument was that life sentences are based on the prevention of future offenses, and that these predictions of future offenses warrant us locking anyone up. Your argument to this is that there is a difference between jaywalking and killing/raping, but you do not directly dispute the claim that these predictions are bad.
        I understand you did not intend to argue that we lock adolescents up before they commit a crime, but Pro's argument that preventing people from committing a crime by locking them up IS technically locking them up due to potential is only addressed by the jaywalking/killing people comparison. I do not recall you directly making the argument that these predictions are fair, even though I understand that may have been what you were trying to get at.

        Your detailing of their stories was fine. However, I don't recall you making the argument that violent repeat offenders who fail rehab are MORE likely to commit a violent act again.

        At the end of the debate, I have two examples of children who Con argues will likely commit further crimes, but Pro tells me that such predictions warrant us locking anyone up and should not be employed. Your jaywalking/killer comparison and prediction that more people will die if we let these kids out are not arguments that these predictions are good or that they should be differentially applied depending on the severity of the crime. They may substantiate such a claim, but the claim was not made. Saying that such analysis is a "misrepresentation" requires a little more analysis about what is being misrepresented and how it should be represented. Therefore I have to go with Pro's analysis that we shouldn't make those predictions, meaning we do not issue life sentences to adolescents. It was a tight debate, but that is my decision.

        Tell me that these predictions are good and necessary, even when applied to adolescents, because they can directly save lives. Tell me that such predictions should be weighed differently depending on the severity of the potential crime. You came close to saying these things, but they were never clearly articulated.

        If you have any further questions, please feel free to continue this thread. Understand that my decision as a judge is final and will not be changed, but that I will try to be fair and constructive in answering your questions and concerns.

      • 2 years ago

        @kelleykrook I hate your decision, but as always, I love the way you reach it. :D

      • 2 years ago

        @debateme13 haha I appreciate it bro.

      • 2 years ago

        Thanks for the in depth response @kelleykrook.

        I definitely could have been a lot clearer about my positions in the debate and was very unorganized to start off which didnt help. That clears things up for me and I appreciate you taking the time to offer the analysis. It makes a lot more sense now :D
        Essentially pro's argument as you see it is that we can never lock anyone up on the basis of societal protection because we cant know the future. I should have taken a more direct assault on that philosophy and I didnt. Thanks for helping me out mate.

    • 2 years ago

      Awesome debate and it seems you have divided the judges so it all came down to community votes.

      @liamm Congrats for advancing to the Quarter Finals!

      @metant3 Stand by till we complete all debates for Round 4 to determine the 3 people who will be "saved" and advance through!

      • 2 years ago

        A solid debate man. Love that we both got into it and were fiery :D

        Nice work, and good luck in future rounds.

        • 2 years ago

          @metant3 Mate, debates are like the only time where you're allowed to shout at people and it's seen as legitimate - Love it :P

      • 2 years ago


        Fun debate - but seriously it's not my burden to outline every layer of the legal code of 'excactly how many years' they should go away. Thats insane and would be expected of no other policy debate.

      • 2 years ago

        I voted Con at 14:52, then kept watching the rest of the debate. When Pro drops Con's point about "neurological wiring" this debate is over. If there is no fix to someone's mental status, it doesn't matter what rehabilitation is offered.

        When Con first brought this point up, I immediately went "wow this is a killer argument. Pro had better respond well to this." But Pro straight up drops it. There's no way Pro can win this round. There is clear evidence that some neurological tendencies cannot be rehabilitated. Pro has other responses later on, but he never shows that "everyone can be rehabilitated". If there are people who cannot be rehabilitated, who have already shown a proclivity to violence, they CANNOT be let out onto the streets.

        If a guy has already raped and strangled 4 girls including a five year old girl, Jesus Christ there's absolutely no reason for that person to be released from prison again. He shouldn't have been released after he raped and murdered 3 girls!

        If there is no neurological fix, it would be a travesty of justice to release that rapist/murderer back into society. Pro is talking about not locking up people who might have a proclivity for it if they haven't done anything. But the ones who already HAVE done something, the ones who raped and murdered 4 different girls, that is absolutely horrifying, and Pro is saying we should let them back out on the street despite not having a neurological fix for their mindset.

        When that person (who we do not have a fix for) rapes and murders his fifth victim, Pro will be personally responsible.

        • 2 years ago


          Thats patently flawed logic in that that argument applies to /all/ people and Con does not even attempt to resolve the mental gynamastics.... By that logic I'm personably responsible for all crimes..... lol. nonsense

        • 2 years ago

          @liamm bro, Con only has to prove one example of an adolescent deserving a life sentence, and he wins. If there are people who are neurologically wired to commit crimes again, and we know this, and they're already repeat offenders, to let them back out on the streets would make the person doing the releasing personally responsible for the attack we KNOW that person is going to commit.

        • 2 years ago


          Mate, Con's study demonstrates people with higher proclivities, not certainities.

          Mate, we already have other options that don't requrie the punitive nature of prison - which I showed were mutually exclusive to non response

          Mate, those people are people who went through the non-rehabilitative status quo and are thus less indicative.

          (I rkn the australian mate sounds better :P).

        • 2 years ago


          Bro ;) if there is one hypothetical example in which Con shows an appropriate time for an adolescent life sentence, he wins.

          Bro, what his study shows is that we do not have rehabilitative fixes for certain neurological tendencies.

          Bro, if there are certain tendencies that cannot be rehabilitated, releasing the offender while knowing they are not rehabilitated puts the public at risk.

          Bro, repeat offenders, who we already have released 3 times, who raped and murdered a girl 3 times, who we do not have a rehabilitative fix for, CANNOT be released onto the streets.

          Like, brah, I'm against the death penalty and I'm close to a pacifist, but the idea of releasing a 19 year old we know we haven't rehabilitated, who has already raped and murdered 4 helpless girls including a fucking 5 year old... holy shit man that's just horrifying to me.

        • 2 years ago


          The bro is funny but I'll dispense with it :P

          We also know we havent rehabilitiated the enormous population of recidivising criminals but we do so anyways afte they serve their time.

          If you think the con is persuasive, then please respond to the logic extnesion, that con refuses to engage with - that this is an arugment against ALL people being released EVER.

        • 2 years ago

          @liamm It's not hard. If someone is a repeat, repeat offender, they're in a different category, because they've already proven a neurological tendency to commit the same crime, and then commit it again, and then commit it again. They're in an entirely different category than those who have committed one crime.

          For instance, in California, we have a law mandating that repeat sexual offenders must take drugs to reduce their sex drive (I had a debate about this actually). A first time offender is treated differently, but a repeat offender gets a harsher penalty.

          Con's point is that if someone has repeatedly raped and murdered kids (ugh, my hands are shaking right now btw) then the penalty must get much stronger to protect the public, ESPECIALLY if we do not have a rehabilitative option to lessen the threat the released criminal has proven to pose. To release those repeat violent, sexual predators back into the streets is frighteningly irresponsible.

      • 2 years ago
        • 2 years ago
        • 2 years ago

          I had to stop the debate at 15:13 and take a breath. I waited until the end to vote, but that was where the debate concluded. The Ed Kemper example, compounded by Harvey Robinson, gives me enough to vote NEG.

          Culpability/knowledge of wrongdoing = / = no moral consequences.

          However, the two real arguments that allow me to vote NEG confidently are: 1) the dropped "neurological wiring" arg, and 2) the "risk outweighs" argument. See Daniel's reasoning for neurological wiring, he echoes my sentiments almost exactly. The meat of my kritik will focus on the "risk outweighs".

          You never really concretely tackle why the risk is worth the autonomy of "X" individual, especially with evidence. This is one of those debates where evidence in your favor is INSTRUMENTAL. What you end up having is a sort of, kind of philosophical argument about how it's a shame that folks might run the risk of being in prison but rehab'd(?). From a util framework, NEG wins this based on 13 lives > 2.

          To flesh it out, because there is no rehabilitative cure for certain offenders, and because the risk outweighs the numerous deaths, rapes, and other crimes, it's incumbent upon me as a judge to endorse NEG, especially when there is no mitigation for risk, reframing of the issue, etc, by the AFF.

          Otherwise, @liamm and @metant3, GREAT debate. This is probably one of the greatest I've seen on this platform. As a former policy guy, the sheer ethos in this round is so entertaining. It really kept me engaged. As always, I'm open to questions about my RFD!

          • 2 years ago

            Ok so unlike everyone else on this thread but @liamm I voted Pro. Here’s why:

            To begin with I think there was a missed debate here. Pro talks about prison as a punitive endeavor. Con talks about it as an incapacitative endeavor. On this point I was disappointed because this entire philosophical discussion was sidelined rather than highlighted. I have a lot of expertise in this area, so it was regrettable this underlying distinction never became clearly addressed.

            With that said, there were two arguments made that were absolutely critical. The first was @metant3 point about how many years. Pro was correct that he didn’t have to outline the number of years, especially as he was arguing for a rehabilitative system in which release would be conditional on rehabilitation. I found Pros arguments on this point Persuasive anyway.

            The other and more critical argument was Con’s claim that some people have an increased proclivity to crime. Fortunately for Pro, this argument was resolved the minute Con responded that he would not lock up someone until after the crime. Cons argument here is that those with an increased proclivity to crime ought to receive life sentences as they cannot be rehabilitated. The examples he provided were intended to illustrate this point. But the minute he agrees that punishment is conditional upon crime already done, this whole point is disqualified. Cons argument is that punishment must be dealt to stop future crime. Con speaks out of both sides of his mouth to say we have to lock people up for the purpose of stopping them from future crime while still arguing that we should wait until someone commits a crime to punish them.

            So the point about people not being able to be rehabilitated by Con concedes that justice requires crime before punishment.

            For that reason I vote Pro (against my personal bias). It was a fantastic debate with two extremely credible and persuasive speakers.

            • 2 years ago

              @noahdfarley eh, I have a bone to pick with this. You're voting for Pro because he says release should be conditional upon rehabilitation, but what if the person cannot be rehabilitated? Con points out that some people cannot be rehabilitated, and Pro has no answer to prove we can successfully rehabilitate everyone.

              If someone cannot be rehabilitated, then either you keep them in prison for life (con wins straight up) or pro's plan of conditional release doesn't actually have the condition met, so he's now effectively keeping them in prison for life (pro loses on topicality) or pro's plan releases an unrehabilitated person into the world (pro loses on horrifying Disadvantages).

              We already know certain people cannot be rehabilitated if they are multiple repeat offenders who have repeatedly been arrested for the same violent sexual crime. We already tried rehabilitation and it didn't work. We aren't arresting them for future crimes, we're punishing them for repeat offenses and keeping them in jail to protect the public from future offenses.

              If they don't want their future taken away, they shouldn't have raped and murdered a kid. And then when they were released from jail, they shouldn't have raped and murdered another kid. And then when they were released from jail, they shouldn't have raped and murdered another kid. Are we really holding the future of a person who raped and murdered a 5 year old old as more important than the future of that 5 year old whose life he stole? Or the future 5 year old who's life and innocence we can no longer protect?

              Pro's only solutions were rehab, which is not effective in certain cases. House arrest, which is still a life sentence, and restrictions on purchases, which has nothing to do with the question of release or non-release. Sorry, there's just no way Pro wins this.

              Also you and I had a variation of that debate about the purpose of prison time, which was definitely one of my favorite rounds I've had on here :).

            • 2 years ago

              @debateme13 Actually no, I'm not voting for him on the argument that release is conditional upon rehabilitation. I was simply bringing up that point as something he could have said to delink the "how many years" argument. The reason I'm voting for Pro is the argument, agreed upon by both debaters, that punishment must come after the crime.

              Con's argument is that we should give life sentences to prevent criminals from future violence. That link also impacts to people who have not committed a crime yet and contradicts Con's own explicit stance on the issue. Based on this point Con's argument fails.

              The argument brought up was that life sentences avoid the problems of releasing someone who is unrehabilitated. The problem with this is that both agreed that you can't punish someone for a future crime. Pro didn't claim we should keep people in rehabilitation for life if they are not rehabilitated (which isn't a life sentence btw), but the argument still flows Pro based on the above reasoning.

              It is legitimate to argue life sentences based on retributive factors, but that is not the argument made by Con. Con argues prevention of crime in the future by imprisoning non-rehabilitative people.

              Again, I did not make my decision based on impact calculus because the point about the impact calculus of future crimes was disqualified by the concession that future crimes are not punishable in the here and now.

              And lastly, Pro does provide other alternatives. Release in the Status Quo is conditional upon many factors and involves punitive measures like prevention of gun ownership (haha another one of our arguments) and restriction on movement or certain types of occupations. These alternatives were brought up by Pro and they are definitely legitimate ways of reducing further crime.

          • 2 years ago

            On a side note, and I waited until later to point this out so it wouldn't affect my decision, but I noticed two things that would have been interesting to hear discussed.

            1) How does one differentiate between neurological issues due to biology and those due to negative circumstances? This is key because our interpretation of the motives or impetus for adolescent crime could be misattributed if they manifest similarly because of biology and/or upbringing.

            2) Why couldn't we incarcerate adolescent offenders with rehabilitation and then release them at or after 18? At that point, rehab is used as a correctional tool through adolescence, it wouldn't have to be a life sentence the first time around, and a repeat offense would technically be perpetrated by an adult and could be tried as such? Such incarceration would last 8 years at the very longest, which is a far cry to a life sentence. Although neurological issues and more potential for crime are still issues that may persist, it's a possible solution that avoids giving life sentences to adolescents, allows the possibility of rehab, and maintains justice.

            Food for thought. Rebuttals welcome.:upside_down: