The Instigator
DebateLover321
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
allieo66
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Can Vagilantism be justified?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DebateLover321
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 534 times Debate No: 79358
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

DebateLover321

Pro

In many situations you can argue vigilantism is a attainment in not just todays but in history. I love receiving feedback as I am going to nationals soon. Thanks.

My first contention is Social contract:

The belief of S.C. is the understanding of how the government should protect its citizens. S.C. states that in exchange for a few rights the government has a moral obligation to protect its citizens and maintain social order. When the government has failed to enforce the law as stated in the resolution the Social Contract is then broken and not legitimate. The citizens than have the right to exert Justice. For example sexual abductors are escaping the register because of loop-holes, because abduction is not considered in law as a sex crime. Tony Delaney who is serving a 4- year sentence for trying to snatch a 13 year old girl will not be placed on the register when released from prison. The judge who sentenced Delaney had no power to put his name on the sexual offenders register. When the government allows criminals to escape jail, or anything else through loopholes and technicalities it can be seen as not enforcing the law. Meaning, When laws have not been clearly set forth, there can be no offence against it.

My second pillar proving this argument is: History of Vigilantism

For this contention I would like to bring up past acts of Vigilantism and explain why they were beneficial or contained a well-ordered society in a just way. My first example is the Big Sword Society. The Big Sword Society were a group of farmers that originated in southwestern Shandong after the second Sino-Japanese War, when the country side was in anarchy and rife with banditry. These vigilantes supposedly protected lives and property. They defended villages against roaming bandits, warlords, tax collectors, and later communists and the Japanese. Another example of justified occurred in Skidmore where one or possibly more vigilantes shot and killed Ken McElroy while he sat in his truck. McElroy was a bully to local civilians, he was mean and intimidating. Other things McElroy did were terrorized a grocery store owner than one day snapped and shot the store owner in the neck. The store owner survived and pressed charges against McElroy. McElroy responded by making threats to property damage. While McElroy was drinking in a bar, uttering threats against the store owner, a group of armed men from the town entered the bar, while McElroy walked out but the men followed and soon shot him to death, taking justice into their own hands. This proves that vigilantism can be justified. Thank you and please leave a comment as to how I can make this better.
allieo66

Con

Before I move on, I just want to say this: What happened to McElroy was not justice. Sure, maybe you think he deserved it, but the people who shot him are still murderers. How are they any better than himself? Things of that nature should be left to law enforcement.

Vigilantism could be justified in the past, when war riddled villages and there were such things as warlords and roaming bandits. But in today's society? There have been many times where citizens have tried to take the law into their own hands, and it ended up harming everyone involved. This could be a whole nother debate in itself, but take the Ferguson riots. Many were upset about the court ruling on the shooter of Michael Brown. So what did they decide to do? They torched and vandalized their own city, robbing stores and endangering the lives of innocent people. Hundreds were arrested and many uninvolved bystanders were injured.

Vigilantism is a crude and unevolved way of thinking. Maybe it was accepted back in old western times where people had to fight for themselves, but in our modern civilization? It's a nuisance and overall irrational to take the law from the capable hands of officers who work hard to protect us.
Debate Round No. 1
DebateLover321

Pro

Let's assume, first, that we're talking about a democratic society. Then assume that by vigilante justice, we mean some one or some group bypassing the formal legal structures to right a wrong, such wrong having been determined by them to be unacceptable.

Therefore, this group must act outside the law; it's actions are, by definition, illegal, and, as such, can never be legally justified.

But there's another consideration: moral justification, a fascinating, complicated situation. We've all felt a sense of moral righteousness when some fictional character, confronted with a society unwilling to do the right thing, takes matter into his or her own hands. Blood flows, the wrongs have been righted, the bad people have been punished.

Is that feeling of justification, of jubilation even, universal, hard wired into our brains in some evolutionary sense? I'm fascinated to observe it in myself, even as I condemn--most of the time--the actions taken.

Ah but how wrong that impulse can be. Watch a great old western, The Ox-Bow Incident to see vigilante justice gone wrong.

I would offer the following thesis for debate. One can justify vigilante justice under the following conditions:

-The potential vigilantes have exhausted every legal recourse and believe that justice has not been served. Here is when vigilante action can be justified. On many occasions, as in Canada Vigilantes are allowed to take action in BROAD daylight when it is wither: A person who has framed the vigilante; When legal action must be taken and the police are unable to contain the offender; OR when it is a police officer. Meaning that a police officer is a kind of vigilante. They take legal action into their own hands. Of course the police may not be able to contain said offender as mentioned before.
It is also ethical when"

-The supposed or potential crime or event is serious enough that some action is warranted; When you see someone who is a known murderer or a drug dealer kidnapping children of course the police won't show up right away. That is when any man, woman or even a child may take action. This would make them a vigilant. Of course you need proof of this or you may not really get away with it. BUT you have done something that would be considered vigilant activity. Thus proving the point that vigilantism CAN be justified. Thank you. Before I leave this debate i would like to clash by saying: It may be so that the Ferguson riots were very unethical. But it is like a water droplet in the ocean. You may also see that there have been many many more times where vigilant action has intact helped todays society. You may read in the paper that someone killed a man trying to harm another. Vigilant action. Thank you for reading my debate and once again please leave some feedback
allieo66

Con

allieo66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
DebateLover321

Pro

The problem with this line of thought is that it treats the legal system as if it were only designed with retribution in mind. The penal system also seeks to rehabilitate.

You said that sometimes justice is not carried out "not in the eyes of the victim in any case." Who determines what classifies as 'justice' then? What about a rape case; how does a vigilante carry out retribution? There is a serious problem in vigilantism of what constitutes a reasonable punishment. For murder, it seems clear: death. But what about other crimes? Is being raped really equal to being killed? Maybe, but the point is that it's unclear. What if I really take offence to being stolen from? Do I get to kill the offender?

I would argue that the penal system does punishment in a satisfying way for most crimes. Assault, for example. If you had the choice between the person going to prison, even for a short time, or hitting them in the head, you really think that hitting them is the more sever punishment?
allieo66

Con

allieo66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
DebateLover321

Pro

I am not going to argue as to give my opponent time.
allieo66

Con

allieo66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
DebateLover321

Pro

And I wait...
allieo66

Con

allieo66 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by DebateLover321 1 year ago
DebateLover321
Come on Allieo Im 12 ur 15 u can do better than that
Posted by DebateLover321 1 year ago
DebateLover321
GL Allieo66
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
DebateLover321allieo66Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
DebateLover321allieo66Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF