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Does everyone deserve a second chance?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 26,561 times Debate No: 21119
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Does everyone deserve a second chance? Do Criminals deserve a second chance? I think that everyone does deserve a second chance because something negative could have influenced that persons decision at the time. I have done some immature things when I was younger and people gave me a second chance. Criminals I believe also deserve a second chance. They might have been engaged with the wrong people and the wrong time and got in trouble. Or for example someone robbed a store but the only reason he needed money was to pay for new born's food. I don't think robbing is the correct thing to do but sometimes people have to go to extremes to get what they need. I think everyone deserves a second chance to get their life back together and try and make the things right. On the other hand, I don't believe that more than a second chance should be given. If the person doesn't realize that the first time they did something was a mistake or accident and they repeatedly do it, they don't know what is right or wrong.


Not everyone deserves a second chance. There is no difference between a second chance and a tenth chance, both are re-do's, so why should one be granted a second try, but no more after that, as you have argued? Studies show that 52% of criminals return to jail after they are released for the first time. Though the giver of the second chance may have good intentions, the receiver can see it as an opportunity to do worse, for they got away with injustice the first time.

No one in life should be "given" anything. One must earn their second chance. By earning this, one isn't experiencing a second chance; they are experiencing a new beginning.
Debate Round No. 1


I understand the high percentage of criminals that go back to jail and commit the same crime again. But also there are certain cases where the person was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Moreover, the person was really innocent but was concerned guilty. I believe that people should only be given a second chance at something once they earn and shouldn't be rewarded any more chances. For example, say I'm in a relationship and I do something my boyfriend doesn't approve of, if he awards me a second chance then I know to not make that same mistake. If I don't learn and do it again, then I deserve to not be with him. All in all though, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone should have ANOTHER opportunity to try and get it right, because most likely no one does everything perfect. No one is perfect. And the greatest learning experiences come from mistakes.


If a person was in the wrong place at the wrong time, they do not need need a second chance; they did not do anything wrong. Though, in such circumstance, they may have gotten penalized for their role in whatever crime, a second chance would not be necessary. They have nothing to make up for.

I concur that everyone makes mistakes and that no one is perfect. I also agree that great experience comes from learning from said mistakes. However, while second chances should be deemed under certain circumstances, not everyone deserves the right to be granted a second chance.

I do believe in second chances. I don't, however, believe everyone deserves one.

"This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes - one every 50 minutes." A drunk driver that has killed an innocent life absolutely does not deserve a second chance at being able to drive freely. There are certain privileges that should not be taken for granted or looked upon lightly.

"An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest." These drivers have gotten more than a second chance. The more times they drive drunk, the higher the risk someone's life will be ended. A human life is more precious that a second chance.

A teacher from New York City had her fifth grade class write Christmas letters to her boyfriend in prison. The children were unaware, thinking they were writing to lonely people without families during the holidays. The prison inmate had been charged, amongst other things, for the possesion of child pornography. Some of the letters sent to the inmate included the children's home addresses. This fifth grade teacher does not deserve a second chance.

By having her students send a prison inmate charged with possession of child pornograpy letter including personal information severely put the students in danger. The teacher does not deserve a second chance of keeping her job or teaching young students ever again. What she did was absolutely inexcusable. There is no reason as to why this teacher would ever deserve a second chance.
Debate Round No. 2


I agree completely what you are saying about the drunk driving and the teacher that did the inappropriate action to the students by sending the letters to a criminal in jail for child porn and what not. Did you ever think that the criminals doing these absurd crimes have something wrong with them? For example a mental illness they are not aware of until something bad happens?

"The prison population of England and Wales now exceeds 82,000. Nine out of 10 of those people has at least one diagnosable mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol misuse or personality disorder: a majority have two or more, combined with a range of other difficulties and disadvantages. One in 10, meanwhile, have a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder: 10 times as many as in the population outside.

This dramatically high rate of mental ill health among prisoners has given rise to a number of initiatives to improve mental health care within prisons and to divert more people away from prison to health services."

People don't realize they have mental illnesses until they are in extreme situations that might cause there whole life in jail. Drug addicts and alcoholics need wake up calls. Sadly, they don't realize this until they do something horrible. People who recognize this, get treated for help. and understand what to get treated they should be awarded. They should be awarded a second chance because the alcoholics or drug addicts could be hereditary in which the mother was a crack addict and did crack while she was pregnant and the baby is now addicted to crack and lives like this his whole life. Or an alcoholic runs in their family. Everyone deserves an understanding or research of why they completely their actions. From there you can determine if they truly deserve a second chance.


If the woman who had her class write letters to the inmate had a disorder other than selfishness, even if she was rehabilitated, it's not appropriate for her to be a teacher ever again. Would you want someone who did that to be responsible for your child?

It's unfortunate that many prisoners have mental health problems. But what if someone who brutally murdered another was found to have bipolar disorder? Should the state decide "Oh, well, it's not their fault! Let them be free!" These people NEED help. Medical attention and rehabilitation IS their second chance, what they choose to do after that is a product of this.

Even then, eight out of ten addicts relapse. According to a statement said in Round 1 of this debate: "I don't believe that more than a second chance should be given", these people are left to fend for themselves after failing once.

Often, people are aware they are addicts. They choose to ignore this fact because their minds are engorssed in thoughts of their next fix.

Again, I'm not saying people no one deserves second chances. But, not everyone should be automatically given one.

Instead of discussing crimes that often involve death of an innocent, what about moral crimes?

Should Rod Blagojevich, who tried to sell Preisdent Obama's senate seat, be given another chance at politcal power? His actions were simply ones driven by power and greed. He made a cognitive decision for bribery. He knew exactly what he was doing. There is no excuse for his actions and he should not be able to serve for any form of the American government again. Would you want someone like him to represent you?

Or, as popular culture would allow: take Chris Brown for example. He has obviously gotten a second chance after brutally beating his girlfriend. However, even after apologizing (the door to his second chance) Brown has repeatedly proven not everyone deserves a second chance if they're not willing to help themselves. After apologizing and the abuse, Brown broke windows at Good Morning America out of aggression. He's not sorry. And now, after performing at the Grammy's twice in a night and even winning an award, what kind of message is that sending? You can beat someone and be rewarded for it? He's had a second chance and has proven time and time again he didn't deserve it.
Debate Round No. 3


My whole belief that everyone deserves a second chance means a second chance at life and to make their mistakes right. The teacher that wrote letters to an inmate doesn't deserve the second chance to be a teacher. If she has a mental illness, she deserves a chance to get help and a SECOND chance to prove that she didn't mean her actions and it was cause by a mental disease. Do I agree with what she did? Absolutely not, but the mind works in ways that no one but doctors and psychologist could understand.

The murder topic you discussed is another issue. Yes people commit murder for reasoning's that are absolutely ridiculous but my point is that if the person does not have a mental illness and they did this solely on the reason that they just don't like this, then they serve their time and are released from jail. After they are released from jail it is up to them what to do. They make good decisions, get a job and do the right things and obey the law or they haven't learned their lesson and do another crime and end up back in jail. Second chances are all about figuring out who you are and how you want to live your life. If they did the time in jail and come out and didn't learn their lesson and end up back in jail that's THEIR decision and an outcome they will have to face for the rest of their life. However, sometimes the murder cases are innocent people who were set up which why second chances and a chance of freedom even after they serve a sentence they didn't deserve, are now deserved a second chance.
I never said everyone should automatically be given one. Everyone should earn a second chance but it is there is a reason why, BECAUSE no one is perfect. We live a world of FIRST impressions which sometimes are misjudged. People assume things they've heard about people, and people want a SECOND chance to prove to a person that they are not what people think they are.

The President Obama issue I cannot comment on because I have no knowledge of what is going on about that situation to back up an argument so I will let you have that one.

However, the Chris Brown issue is something I am aware about. Chris brown and his actions about abusing his girlfriend is something that should have never been done. He made those actions and what she did about it is what she did about it. He apologized about the abuse yes. Chris Brown breaking the windows at Good Morning America is not ABUSE towards a woman. Therefore, it is not the same case. The second chance he got was if he was to pursue with his girlfriend again if she accepted him. In which now him and his girlfriend are talking again and trying to figure out things. The whole incident of Good Morning America was just him being foolish and wanting attention. He has negative attention gravitated towards him. However, people do not let that affect how they feel about his musical talent. Chris Brown is a very talented person that made the Grammy's very entertaining. What people don't understand is that people voted for him based on his musical talent not because of his personal life. Famous people do ridiculous actions and break the law all the time. Whether they choose to acknowledge it, is their own decision. His second chance in this case was with his girlfriend, not as a musical artist. If it was the case of him being a musical artist it would be if he did something crazy while he performed. Then that would be his second chance.


If the woman actually does has a mental illness, she had no business being in charge of a classroom full of children. Though said mental ilness wouldn't be her fault, limitations to what is apporporiate for someone with her mental illness should've been enforced.

Honestly, the mind is so complex I don't even fully believe doctors or psychologists could completely undestand it. There's just so much we don't, and are unable, to know.

If a convict without a mental disorder were to serve their time, not relapse, not commit any other crime, then I agree, they have earned their second chance. But they should'nt just be granted one. They have to prove they are worthy of one. To me, them figuring themselves out, whether that be in a jail cell or released is their second chance to do good.

Someone who was framed for a murder case doesn't need a second chance; they did nothing wrong. Their attempts to clear their name isn't an attempt at a second chance, it's an attepmt to set the record straight on their "first" chance.

I concur, there is absolutely no one that is perfect. In fact, I agree that for the most part, people should get second chances. I do not believe every single person on the face of this earth is intrinsically good. There are just some bad people who know exactly what they're doing is wrong (ie drunk driving) and make a cognitive decision to parttake in it anyway. People like that give up their right to a second the chance the moment they get behind a wheel. Some things just aren't forgivable.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are, definitely, quick to make assumptions or believe everything they hear. If someone misjudge's someone on something they've heard, whether it be true or false, it's THEM who should ask for a second chance, not the person being misjudged. One shouldn't have to prove who they are. If someone wants to be so vapid that they make judgements on people solely on gossip, then frankly, screw them; they should know better. We've been told countless times not to judge a book by its cover. That person should be asking for a second chance. It's up to the person who was misjuged to decide. And if that person were to decide that person doesn't deserve a second chance, I completely stand behind the decision.

To my argument, Chris Brown's second chance wasn't for his own personal appeasement; it a was a second chance at his public persona, to clear his name by proving he could change. Beating a woman and smashing windows are both stemmed in anger issues, which it's evident Chris Brown has. There is NO excuse for beating someone, absolutely none. Chris Brown's stint at Good Morning America solidifed the fact that Chris Brown has anger issues and did no get help with the second chance the media granted him. Sure, Chris Brown is talented. It's a shame he is the way that he is. It sends out a horrible message to young men that basically you can get away with beating a woman and have it swept under the rug and get positive media attention.

My belief is that while second chances can often be granted, not everyone deserves one. There are some things in life that are simply unforgivalbe, no matter the circumstance. To excuse these are immoral and unsafe, and set a bad examply on the youth.
Debate Round No. 4


After going through this whole argument, I still stand behind my beliefs of EVERYONE deserves a second chance. I understand were you are coming from that you believe that some things shouldn't be forgiven. However, I come from a place that I believe everyone does and no matter how messed up the situation may be, people should always be forgiven once. If they repeatedly do something that you don't agree with, do not associate yourself with them. But I feel like if I did something wrong I would want the opportunity and a second chance. I used to have hatred towards people but then I realized most of the time it wasn't intentionally towards me and people make stupid decisions based of stupid reasoning's and influence. I just believe that everyone someway or another should work for their second chance and prove that they deserve one. Like I said NOONE is perfect and people should listen out to their reasoning's behind their actions.


Second chances offer a fresh start. New beginnings are, when granted, opportunites to make right what was once made wrong. Some things, however, cannot be made right, no matter how many chances are given. Sometimes events or actions are so horrid that chanes to fix said event or action simply cannot be granted, nor do they have to be.

People like Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler fall under the category: "everyone". Is it appropriate to say, that if the opportunity arose, that they'd deserve second chances? Some things are simply unforgivable and the giving of a second chance would be impermissible.

People who make the cognitive decision to murder do not DESERVE second chances. If they do actually change their ways, get help, and make things better for themselves and people around them, then they have EARNED a second chance. A murderer does not deserve a second chance. They don't deserve anything for taking an innocent life.
Most people, yes, do deserve second chances. However, until one meets EVERY single person on this earth, hears their story and why they need a second chance, a claim such that "EVERYONE" deserves something is ludicrous. Most people deserve second chances, but it's impossible to claim every single person deserves one.

The word "deserve" is defined as "To be worthy of". I do not believe we live in a world that every single person is worthy of a second chance when there are murderers, rapists, and embezzlers that make horrible decisions and are not mentally disturbed are WORTHY to get a new start, just as everyone else is.

Most people deserve second chances. However, not everyone does because if their is one exception, the argument can't continue to be made that "EVERYONE" deserves something when it is evident there are people out there that simply just do bad things because they can.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
This was a very bad debate overall, but I gave arguments to Pro because Con's arguments did not make sense was very bad, or did not apply to the situation. For example, she argued that, "An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest. These drivers have gotten more than a second chance."
Exactly. They got way more than a second chance, and this debate is about second chances, so her argument does not apply.
They both had good sources and grammar.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DevonNetzley 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Not everyone deserves a second chance. But those pure enough to feel the guilt of any wrong they have done is proof enough to me.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.