The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Hillary Clinton should be in prison.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 310 times Debate No: 96101
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




I will be arguing why Hillary Clinton should be in federal prison.

This will be a 4 round debate:
Round 1- acceptance
Round 2- argument
Round 3- rebuttal
Round 4- conclusion

No Plagiarism
No trolling


Hillary Clinton should not be in jail.

Hillary has worked hard all her life to be President, and now this is her opportunity. She is, in this election cycle, the only viable candidate for the office of the President. Therefore, Hillary Clinton should not be put in jail, even if she has committed a crime because it would be worst for the country for her to be put in jail than it would be for Donald Trump to be President.

Second, Hillary Clinton is part of the Washington establishment. She and her family have been in involved in American politics for decades. As a result, and in accordance with American tradition, she and her family are not responsible for any actions they take in office. Hillary simply cannot go to jail, ever: she and her family are above the law, no matter what they do, or what they say.

It is simply Hillary's turn to be President, and nothing can ever stand in her way. This is how America works, whether you like or not.
Debate Round No. 1


First I should point out that round one was the acceptance round. Con posted their argument one round too early. This now changes the structure of the debate to: round one being initial argument, round two being rebuttal, round three being more rebuttal, and finally round four being the conclusion.

My opponent is correct that Hillary Clinton has worked hard to become a presidential candidate. This is in fact her opportunity. I would not say she is the only viable candidate, but that is a matter of opinion and a complete separate debate in its own. However, nobody can argue the fact that she and her family have been in politics for many years.

However, being a political figurehead does not exempt anyone from the law. When my opponent said "she and her family are not responsible for any actions they take in office", they were very incorrect to say the least. As Theodore Roosevelt once said. [1] "No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.".

In the email scandal alone, Hillary Clinton broke at least three State Department rules and Federal laws[2&3]:
First- Mishandling Classified Information: Executive Order 13526 and 18 U.S.C Sec. 793(f) of the federal code. These laws make it unlawful to send of store classified information on personal email
Second- Violation of the Federal Records Acts of 2009: Section 1236.22 of the 2009 of the NARA. This law states [3] "Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record keeping system."
Third- Violation of her Non-Disclosure Agreement: Section 7. Her NDA for being Secretary of State stated she must "agree to return any classified information" she gained access to, and further agreed that "failure to do so could be punished under Sections 793 and 1924 of the US Criminal Code." see first violation.

Not only should she be in prison, if she gets elected, she has already disqualified herself. According to the Constitution in Article Two, Section Four [4] "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."



In all seriousness, this debate hinges on two points. First, if she is guilty and hasn't been sent to prison, then detractors may argue that the 'system is rigged' in favour of Clinton. Whilst this isn't the direct premise of your argument, there must be an indirect link to this point of view. The detractors' view therefore is implying that the institutions of the United States are so corrupt and are ultimately undemocratic to the extent that a person like Hillary Clinton can get away with committing a serious crime. If this is the case, then I do not have a solution for this problem.

On the other hand, if one believes that the institutions of the United States are strong and aren't corrupt, then the only conclusion that one can lead to is that she is NOT guilty.

I cannot see a third option here: either you believe that the system is corrupt and that SOME people in the US are actually above the law; or that if the system isn't corrupt, then ergo she is not guilty.
Debate Round No. 2


Whether the system is corrupt or not, we all have a moral compass. We all know the difference between right and wrong, what should be the outcome of a chain of events, and what shouldn't be the outcome. [1] Since 2008, several Americans have been charged with mishandling classified information and materials. These are just some of them.

Shamai Leibowits is a former FBI contract Hebrew-English translator. He was charged for knowingly and willfully disclosing to an unauthorized person five FBI documents classified at the 'secret' level that contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is a former State Department contractor. He was charged with illegally disclosing national defense information to someone in the media. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

Chelsea Manning (at the time Bradley Manning) is a former Army Private First Class. Manning was charged with multiple violations of the Espionage Act, including disclosing U.S. government information to WikiLeaks. [2] Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Jeffrey Sterling is a former CIA employee. He disclosed information about Iran's nuclear program to a New York Times reporter. [3] He was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer. He was charges in 2012 for sharing with a freelance writer the name of an undercover CIA agent who was working at the time in the CIA"s interrogation program. [4] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

James Hitseleberger is a former Navy linguist contractor He was charged with retaining classified information and shipping it back to Stanford University. One report said the classified documents contained sensitive information about troop positions, gaps in U.S. intelligence and commanders' travel plans. [5] He was sentenced to one year in prison.

Edward Snowden is a former National Security Agency contractor. He disclosed the existence of U.S. government surveillance programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post. He is awaiting his prison sentence.

All these American have done the same thing Hillary Clinton has done. All of them to a different extent, but never the less. They have all mishandled classified information and/or materials. The only difference is, they have gone to prison, which is why she should go to prison.



The topic of this Debate is "Hillary should be in prison." The only criteria that determines if a person should be in prison if he or she has been 'legally' convicted of criminal activity. It doesn't matter if her actions was immoral or not; this is not the topic of this Debate.

All of the instances that you have quoted are those of persons who have been convicted by law and tried for breaking the law. That's it. Nothing else matters. People aren't imprisoned for behaving immorally or unethically, unless they have committed a criminal offence.

If you believe that Hillary should be in prison, and she isn't, then the only conclusion that you can reach is to assert that the system is corrupt, and that she was let off because of who she is. Otherwise, she wasn't convicted, ergo she shouldn't be in prison.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent stated "It doesn't matter if her actions was immoral or not; this is not the topic of this Debate." Well, that is the topic. Her immoral actions were illegal. They were the same immoral actions committed by other Americans who got convicted. Which is why she should be convicted, ergo she should go to prison. In this case the lack of conviction and lack of a prison sentence go hand in hand.

My opponents also stated "People aren't imprisoned for behaving immorally or unethically, unless they have committed a criminal offence." Once again, Hillary Clinton's immoral actions are what led to her committing a criminal offence. She mishandled classified materials by storing them improperly and handing them over to people who did not have the appropriate security clearance.

And once again, saying the system is corrupt, does not excuse the fact of what should happen or not whether it is true or not. Actually, stating the system is corrupt would only help prove my point. The definition of corrupt is [1] "to cause (someone or something) to become dishonest, immoral, etc.". So back to that moral compass we all have. If the system is corrupt, that further proves my point that she should be in prison. Why would we want to trust in a corrupt system to bring justice when it is very much overdue? Nobody SHOULD be above the law. Everybody SHOULD be held accountable for their actions. Hillary Clinton SHOULD be in prison.

In conclusion, this whole debate is based off of the fact that Hillary Clinton did not properly handle classified information. Whether she was convicted of it or not, we all know it to be true.[2] It has been proven that Hillary Clinton sent classified emails from an unclassified server and physically handed classified materials to people who did not have the appropriate clearance. She often stated that she did not know the information was classified, but that should not excuse her actions. That is similar to someone committing murder, and claiming they didn't know murder was illegal. Should that give them a legal pass? No.

This debate is not about why Hillary Clinton did not go to prison. It is about should she have gone to prison. The answer is yes. Mishandling classified information is a Federal offense.

Vote Pro!


*side note to augcaesarustus. Thanks for the debate! This has been a lot of fun and you had some pretty decent points :)


The affirmative in this debate has argued that Hillary Clinton should go to jail because she committed an immoral act. This debate ultimately comes down to how much you trust your institutions. If you believe that Hillary Clinton got away with committing a criminal act when others in her place would've been convicted, then you have to concede that the justice system of the United States is unjust and corrupt; and that Hillary Clinton is in fact above the law.

Second, going to 'jail' is a specific punishment that we prescribe in the case of persons who have committed criminal offences. Immoral behaviour doesn't necessarily lead to criminal behaviour. She might have acted inappropriately but and made a mistake but this is a far cry from committing a criminal offence. These two distinctions must be made.

Finally, as state above, the affirmative must, if he/she is to prove his/her case, assert that the Hillary Clinton evaded justice and was given special treatment by the judicial authorities of the United States. If the affirmative makes this conclusion, then they can win the debate; otherwise, Hillary Clinton was not convicted of an criminal offence. That's it.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Jenae.ross 1 day ago
Great argument PRO! Very well put! Congrats on your victory
Posted by Quadrunner 1 week ago
Edit, *committed instead of convicted.
Posted by AlexisBaylie 1 week ago
Dangit! I meant to say something else in my side note but I hit submit when I meant to hit edit! Augcaesarustus, I also wanted to say that I hope to debate with you again! Like I said this was a lot of fun! Thanks for debating with me. :)
Posted by NWO_Sucks 2 weeks ago
On the Pro side - Yes she should be in prison from a moral, just and upright system of government.
On the Con Side - No she should not be in prison from a immoral, unjust, and corrupt system of government.

Touche' !! You both win the argument!
Posted by Kanye2020 2 weeks ago
so politicians are above the law event though there is laws against what they do especially breaking the oath.Its not suposed to be that way its a corrupt government
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Quadrunner 1 week ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro sources were good. Con did not use sources and so I cannot say pro's sources were more reliable. Tie Pro argued quite well what offences Hillary Clinton has knowingly convicted. These offences were not questioned by con. Pros argument stands, that since Hillary Broke the law, that is punishable through prison that Hillary Clinton should be in prison. This seemed quite logical to me. Con made a alternate argument stating that in the case of a corrupt government, Hillary would naturally not go to prison. If the government is not corrupt, then Hillary is proven innocent through trial, and obviously should not go to prison. Pro, did not refute the logic of Con, but instead said it was wrong and bolstered their argument. Pro, then goes on to explain, that whether the government is corrupt or not, if Hillary committed a crime, and the crime is punishable she should go to prison, whether she did or not. "Should", was successfully proven, and defended by the pro.
Vote Placed by theobjectiveobjective 1 week ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used sources that were mostly reliable but Con's argument did not use sources. Pro didn't discuss the evidence that she committed these crimes or directly link what happened to the specific codes. Con's argument that the system must be corrupt if Hillary is not in prison was weak, but the point that she has not be convicted of a crime is valid. Pro's examples of others who have been sentenced for disclosing sensitive info was not directly relevant because Hillary did not disclose any information. Yet Pro identified specific codes that he believes she violated.