The Instigator
Tommy.leadbetter
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Ash13
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Prisoners getting the vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Tommy.leadbetter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 43680
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Prisoners should get the vote.
Ash13

Con

The day prisoners deserve the right to vote is the day when they pay taxes as well as follow the law. They got into prison because they didn't follow the legal system, therefore, they lose their legal rights. They don't pay rent, they don't pay taxes, they don't do anything else, so why would they deserve the right to vote for who runs our country, when they didn't even follow the laws?
Debate Round No. 1
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Firstly, breaking a law doesn't always mean you are unworthy of rights. For example smoking cannabis, being in a fight or selling drugs; does not make a person any less 'worthy of rights' than anyone else. For example look at the scientists and businessmen who do things such as animal testing for cosmetics, companies who advertise addictive and harmful foods to children purely for profit. One cannot be so self-righteous in denouncing another human until they have walked in their shoes. Much research demonstrates how social economic factors can be responsible for crime; often crime is a last resort or just a 'way of life' that has been handed down by parents. So what I'm trying to get across in this first paragraph is that one should not be too quick to determine what rights an unknown individual should have taken away as they do not know the true nature of that individual just because he is in prison.

Secondly, the goal of humans is to live in peace, and the goal of the prison system therefore is to promote peace. It is therefore better for it to focus on 'reform' rather than 'punishment'. 'Punishment' is an ancient method that has so far not produced any crime-free societies. So, to reform somebody who has been disconnected with society at large (as disconnection is the underlying precursor to criminal behaviour) one must attempt to open the society up to the individual again, to show him that he really matters and that he really is listened too. If a person feels like the government doesn't care for his opinion and thus don't respect him, how can they expect respect from him?

And I understand your point about punishment and that 'why should they get to vote when they don't obey the rules?' But I would argue that it is irrelevant. Firstly because they aren't exactly being 'rewarded' and treat well; most of them probably don't vote anyway and its hardly a holiday. And secondly, even if the entire prison population voted, it would have very little effect on the final results.

I don't believe in rewarding prisoners nor do I have sympathy for ALL prisoners. I am stating that giving them the vote won't cost anything nor give them any pleasure and so it is no loss to give them it. And I will argue that it will do some good (if any) in helping them integrate back into society.
Ash13

Con

I'll agree with you on that. Not every person in prison has committed a true crime. But, my main argument would be that they do not pay taxes. They also don't have an income, I understand that. But in the end of the day, every other voter pays taxes, has a legal ID, and, typically, meets other requirements needed in their state.

Though they don't always get the chance to gain an income, by being in prison, they aren't exactly giving anything back to society (such as those who aren't in prison). I know that in the state of Florida, you must be a registered citizen, have a valid driver's license or state-issued ID, and also not be a convicted felon without the rights of voting to have been restored.

Voting is just among one of the rights that the prisoner loses when they get convicted. While in prison, they can't legally drive, vote, smoke cigarettes (in most, if not, all prisons), nor can they drink alcohol. By giving them the right to vote, shouldn't we give them the right to do those other things, as long as they are of age?
Debate Round No. 2
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Your first paragraph.
I assume you mean that, because everybody else in a particular state has to have certain credentials, why should prisoners, who are always bereft of one of them credentials, get the vote? Because voting is a free form of expression that has been long fought for, it is not about licences, taxes and rewarding those who comply with the cultures accepted social behaviours. Also, criminals cannot pay tax even if they wanted too.

Second paragraph
They might have been giving to society before they where put in prison. In extreme case; they may of been helping people obtain cannabis, extacy, and other controversial drugs. Likewise, the laws of a nation are not gospel. People may be fighting to free slaves in some societies and also fighting for rights, in your view, because these people are in jail, should they not have the right to vote?

People in the lower-class are of a different nature than the other people in society. Many middle class people have had little experience of this culture and are quick to denounce it. Criminals are (about) 95% more likely to be from the lower classes and so it is these people who are the real inhabitants of jail. There is much behaviour (much more than in middle class societies) that is barbaric and wrong, but they are disconnected from society. They don't feel and love for the system and why should they? I accept that individually, people can be held accountable for their situation, but the system is not always helpful, and in many cases is downright bigoted and damaging. Criminals are often people who have stolen things and who live on the streets, they cannot get a job because of criminal convictions and they can make a lot of money sometimes from things that are illegal. They nearly all suffer from depression and have drug addictions, but what else are you going to do when your sat out in the cold with no money and nothing to do? I would argue: that almost ever prisoner could be 'healed' : that alot of them (in my opinion) do 'deserve' to be healed: and that some don't even need to be healed.

It seems you are motivated by an anger, towards the fact that they can have a right that you (and others) have to 'earn'. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I would say that perhaps your problem would be solved by allowing everybody to vote, over age 16, for example.

I remind you rehabilitation is the best option for society, both financially and in the interest of public safety. Voting is something I assume most prisoners don't do anyway, even if they do, it is hardly making there punishment any easier.
Ash13

Con

Ash13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

I leave you to reply to my last point
Ash13

Con

Ash13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

And again
Ash13

Con

Ash13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
I think that prisoners should vote because when a law is passed the person who will know most about the subject are the people who experienced it first hand.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
Tommy.leadbetterAsh13Tied
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Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
Tommy.leadbetterAsh13Tied
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