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S02smalls
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The Contender
eddieshead
Con (against)
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Riggs v. Palmer

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 502 times Debate No: 66279
Debate Rounds (4)
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S02smalls

Pro

August 13, 1808 Francis B. Palmer made his will, leaving his daughters Mrs.Riggs and Mrs. Preston small legacies along with leaving the remainder of his estate to Elmer E. Palmer his grandson. (1.1.1)
Elmer lived with the testator at the date of the will and was 16 when his grandfather died, he was aware of his inheritance after his grandfather would pass. (1.1.4-5)
The estates left on the behalf Palmer weren"t one hundred percent certain going to be left to his grandson Elmer.( 1.1.5)
Elmers Grandfather could have potentially changed the will.(5.2.1)
Obtaining such knowledge of his inheritance, before his grandfather could change his will, and to enjoy his possessions he murdered his grandfather by poisoning him. (.(1.1.5)Poisoning his grandfather is considered murder.(1.1.6)
Murder should not be rewarded in any way. (4.3.2)
Statues are made for the testator to dispose of their property as they wished but how could have the lawmakers foreseen this.
If they could have foreseen this it would have been included in statues.
Lawmakers cannot perfectly express themselves while writing these laws, which leaves room for judges to use "rational interpretation", allowing them to interpret the drafters intention as best as he couldIt would be unreasonable to assume the intentions of law are to reward a murderer. (2.3.4)
By equitable reconstruction the statue can be looked upon with meaning rather than what is actually written, assuming the lawmaker was a reasonable man and could not have foreseen every detail while writing this law. (3.1.2-6)
If lawmakers could have foreseen this situation would they let this young man who murdered his grandfather still take up the estates left in his name?
It would be unreasonable to think the intentions of the law were to reward someone who cheated his inheritance by committing a crime. (4.2.1)
In certain circumstances we shouldn"t focus on the words used to write the law but rather the intentions behind the words.(4.2.3)
All laws and contracts should abide by law itself.
Owen vs. Owens a similar case a wife murders husband intentionally becoming a widow to inherit his estates.(6.2.1-5)
"Volenti non fit injuria" the widow shouldn"t be able to inherit anything being as she could have died before her husband but she killed him in order to become this widower.(6.2.7)

Elmer should not be permitted to take up this property that he gained due to a crime.(6.1)
Contracts can be voided if it contains fraud, undue influence or provisions that are immoral. (4.4.2-5.3)
If Elmer have taken his grandfathers property by force the law wouldn"t have allowed him to keep it, by committing this crime in a sense he did that , defying the will by fraud and going against public policy. (5.2.6-9
Therefore Elmer should not be able to inherit the estates left to him by the grandfather he murdered. (6.2)

Non "controversial:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,15

Controversial:
.8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17,18,19,20,21.

8,9,10 ,11:
Wills are set up for the testators wishes to be granted when he is no longer here . With the wills come laws and rules set up around them, but in situation like this one with Elmer the one to inherit this property how were the lawmakers supposed to foresee a the inheritor would be the murderer of the testator. When Lawmakers are writing these laws sometimes they are unable to express themselves the way they wanted too, being as they can not be asked what they meant judges have the authority by rational interpretation to make his or her own best interpretation as to what the law maker was trying to say assuming he or she was a reasonable person. Equitable Reconstuction a statures meaning could be looked upon rather than what was actually written once again assuming a reasonable law maker was writing it and his intentions could have been something other than what has been written.

12.13,:

If law makers could have foreseen this situation that Elmer the grandson murders his grandfather for his estates would you think they would have let him inherit the estates left in his name?

It would be morally wrong to reward someone for committing a crime even worse a crime such as murder. To think it would be ok would just be completely unreasonable anyone would be able to agree on that.

15,16:
A similar case . Owens wife could have died before he did not making her a widow, she took it into her own hands to become a widow just to inherit her husbands estates. She committed a crime and does not deserve the right the inherit such estates nor the title of widower since she made herself a "widow" to begin with.

14, 17,18,19,20,21:
Despite what contracts or wills are they should follow the law to begin with. Committing a crime in this case should be not only a violation of the law but a violation of the will itself , denying his inheritance.

He committed a crime knowing his grandfather could have changed the will if he wanted to, he took nature into his own hands and murdered.
He should not be able to inherit palmers estates under these circumstances.
eddieshead

Con

In August of 1880, Francis B. Palmer created his last will and testament, leaving his estate to his two daughters, Mrs. Riggs and Mrs. Preston, and to his grandson Elmer E. Palmer.

Elmer lived with his grandfather on a farm which was of considerable worth, along with the other possessions he put into the will.

Elmer knew that there was a chance his grandfather could write him out of the will, or that under certain circumstances, he may not be eligible to inherit.

His grandfather had, in fact, expressed some intent to change his will.

Elmer sought to prevent the possible change by ensuring that his grandfather would die while the current will's legality was solid.

Elmer murdered his grandfather by poisoning him, with the intent to ensure he would receive the inheritance of the last will and testament.

Elmer did indeed receive the inheritance.

The daughters of Francis Palmer brought upon the action to prevent Elmer from receiving an inheritance.

Elmer was also tried and convicted of second degree murder, and during the appeal case, was serving time in a reformatory.

His claim for the property is based on whether or not his grandfather's will can be open to interpretation.

The daughter's claim was based on the fact that Elmer could have possibly prevented the reformation of his grandfather's will.

Their claim was based on equitable considerations.

These considerations are very much governed by matters of conscience.

While conscience can be a consideration in many situations, this specific case has nothing to do with it.

The question is not whether or not it was wrong for Elmer to kill his grandfather and if he should receive an inheritance.

It is also not a question whether or not it was morally permissible for him to receive the inheritance, however unlawfully he did.

Elmer is not to be punished by the revocation of his grandfather's will.

This case has nothing to do with the crime Elmer committed.

The only question at hand in this case is whether or not a will can be altered or voided, after its testator's death.

The property of the dead testator is now subject to complete legal control and does not have the freedom to be interpreted.

A last will and testament does not work unless it is bound to strict rules regarding its creation and alteration.

These rules are the only way to truly ensure that a testator's property will be protected by law, after his/her death.

These rules must be followed to the letter to ensure this protection.

There was no specific ordinance written stating that if the testator should die in this way, the will must be altered.

That rule had not been written by the testator nor the drafter, and it is also not part of common policy.

Just because Elmer committed a criminal act, does not mean he should be punished beyond the justice served for his original act.

Elmer should receive the inheritance.

Non-controversial claims:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,18,19, not my opponents #7

The facts of this case are clearly stated, and while murder should not be rewarded, that does not apply to this case. Elmer is not being rewarded for the murder of his grandfather. In fact, he had been convicted and sentenced, so he had been justifiably punished. Anything beyond that goes further than what the public demands of a murderer. He received the inheritance not as a reward for his behavior, but because it had been clearly stated in the will of his grandfather, that he would receive property upon the death of the testator, i.e Francis Palmer. You must agree on this fact, as is it based solely on the laws against murder, and the true facts and objectives in this case.
As for my non-controversial claims, I am debating the true nature of this case. It is not necessary to decide whether or not Elmer should receive the inheritance based on the morality and legality of the way he sought to receive it. It is about whether or not the last will and testament can be altered or voided after the death of its creator, and if it should, does this situation meet the criteria required to make those changes? There are no other questions in the matter.

Controversial claims:
13,14,15,16,17,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27

The law provides people with protection of their property after they should pass, provided they create a will and testament. These legally binding documents are in fact the only ways to protect the property of the deceased. They are not to be taken lightly, and they are not to be open to interpretation. To question them would be to put in jeopardy, the legacy of the testator. These documents must fall under complete legal control. The mindset and potential whims of the testator before his death, should be explicitly avoided, unless they are somehow written into the will. Had Francis Palmer written that his grandson should not receive an inheritance by way of murder, this would be a different case, and I would have to agree with my opponent. However, that is not written in the will, and it is also not law.
Debate Round No. 1
S02smalls

Pro

Murder is relevant to this case in the sense that murder is considered immoral. Once this act of immorality has been committed the will itself should have been voided not only for immorality but also for fraud. The fraud came into the will when he did not let nature take its course as to the possibility that he might have not outlived his grandfather therefore he would have not been able to inherit the estates. Poisoning his grandfather was the fraud to the will, he took it upon himself to kill for the estates that were at the time being left in his name, aware that his grandfather could have potentially changed the will at any given day or time. If Elmer is able to take up this property despite of killing his grandfather it would be considered rewarding his crime. He went against law itself which is what all contracts including wills should abide by to begin with. Even if he was convicted for his criminal acts by giving him the property at the end of the day would only be allowing him to get what he wanted to begin with, and to do so would be letting him get away with criminal acts which are clearly against the law.

Moving on to whether or not contracts can be altered , I do understand that wills are made by testators to dispose of their belongings as they would wish too, but in cases like this do you really think it could"ve been a thought in Palmers head that his own grandson would be poison him just to receive his inheritance? Not to mention law makers at the time of creating these statues that protect wills. Who could possibly have foreseen a situation like this? If the law makers would have been able to do so they would have included that in their statues. We must assume that these lawmakers are reasonable men and any reasonable person would not allow such statue to stand strong, especially when a crime is brought into it. Interpretations are allowed to be made under the judge"s rational interpretation once again assuming the law makers could have not been able to express their intentions fully. It would be completely unreasonable to interpret that Palmer in any way would want to leave his estates to his grandson who intentionally killed him. We should not solely focus on just the wording in this case but look more into depth at would he could"ve wanted knowing that he would be killed by the "heir".

Owens vs Owens is a great example to look back onto when it comes to this case. In order to become an heir of her husband"s property she would have to become a widow. Like Elmer she took it upon herself to go against nature and intentionally make herself a widower by murdering her husband. She could have potentially died before her husband and never have become a widow, but being as she did intentionally should deprive her from receiving anything. Palmer is in the same circumstance, yes the will states that his grandfather"s estates be left to him, but how could his grandfather have known to include in his will "but not if he intentionally murders me" just because those words are not stated in this will or contract does not necessarily mean that it would be altering the will itself and going against Palmers wishes not to leave the estates to his grandson. Any reasonable man would not leave something to someone who end up being the reason they are longer alive. If they would have known this I am sure Owen would not have left anything to his wife neither. We need to remember that murder is a crime. Once theses Elmer intentionally poisoned his grandfather this contract or will should have been voided. To not void this contract would be immoral and unreasonble. To allow Elmer to inherit these properties will give off the impression that his crime was permissible, because he would still able to receive what he wanted from the start which were the estates. Which is why is state again that murder is a crime and crimes should not be rewarded. Yes he served his time for his crime but allowing him to heir these estates would be rewarding his crime and intention to begin with.
eddieshead

Con

According to law, a will is guarded by sets of statutes. These statutes dictate the reasons a will is allowed to be altered or voided, as well as the methods of altering or voiding them. None of these reasons apply to this specific case. A will cannot be voided simply by a feeling, or a thought. It must be done by the testator, as he is the only one who can clearly interpret and express the intent of his will. There is no way to tell if a testator "would have" changed or voided his will, simply on a certain feeling he may be conveying at the time. Unless he actively changes it, there can be no presumption unto his will. Your argument is that the defendant prevented his grandfather from potentially changing his will. While that may be true, it can also be false. Like you said earlier, there is no way to tell if the testator thought of that specific situation when the will was written. Had he perished under another circumstance, deemed shocking, or surprising, for example a car accident, that event would also have prevented him from changing his will. There would be no question then. The fact that his grandson murdered him for the inheritance, while I admit is morally reprehensible, does not change the fact that the will must be looked at under an intense eye of the law, and cannot be interpreted differently than what is written in itself or the statutes. While murder is indeed immoral, illegal, and unjustifiable, it simply cannot dictate the outcome of this case. You say that Francis Palmer would not have given his grandson the inheritance had he known he would die by his hand. That and other statements about what he could have been thinking are pure conjecture. We have absolutely no way of knowing. You cannot say that he would have revoked the will if he had known, just like you can't say he wouldn't have. There could have been yet another unforeseen circumstance in which Francis Palmer, upon knowing his grandson would kill him, would still grant him an inheritance. Because of the sheer possibility of strange situations involving personal feelings, the will cannot be interpreted by such notions. However unreasonable it may seem, Francis Palmer wrote his will and to the extent of his life, died not wish to change it, or else he would have done so. Because of this, the will is bound by law.
There have been multiple cases in which a testator had sought to revoke a will, only to be denied by a beneficiary in a place of power over the will. In Gains v. Gains, the testator expressed an intention to void his will. The person who devised his will did not allow him to do so. The matter was resolved by the court finding out that the statutes did not cover the reasons why the testator wanted to void the will. Mere intention to void was not enough, and thus the will was taken from the testator with the full intent to be enforced.
In this specific case, there is no law explicitly stating that should a potential beneficiary, murder the testator of the will he was hoping to inherit from, the contents of the inheritance would be revoked. If you refer to the public opinion of civil laws dating back to Roman times, you will see that those laws were created as punitive measures. I am once again stating that the defendant had already been suitably punished, in the eyes of the law, for the murder of his grandfather. The intent to punish him again would be unlawful. He is not being rewarded for murder. He is receiving what the will states he should receive, regardless of the way his grandfather died.
If we begin to try to interpret what the testator's hidden intentions were regarding the stipulations of their wills, the entire institution of a last will and testament would be flawed. The entire point behind creating one, is to put everything into writing, as when a person is gone, their word will be the only thing protecting their property and legacy. We cannot assume we know what a person was thinking when they died, or what a person would have thought about something, it is too vague. It would damage the only security a person can have after they die.
Debate Round No. 2
S02smalls

Pro

There is no way to tell that the testator would have potentially changed it , but that still leaves time for him to have changed it. Elmer did not give his grandfather this time to do so. Elmer himself knew his grandfather could have changed his will at any given time which is why he took matters into his own hands and poisoned his grandfather. There still could have been the chance that Elmer himself could have past before his grandfather did and he would have been left with anything. If he would have let nature take it"s course all this could have been avoided. Even if his grandfather wouldn"t have changed the will like you said and past another way then it would"ve been nature taking its course but the fact that Elmer murdered his grandfather in order to receive his inheritance is what makes this whole situation complicated and not to mention going against law itself.

The will should be looked at another way because I stated before at law makers can not foresee all possibilities while writing these statues. These law makers aren"t around anymore to ask them what exactly they meant when by this and that statue. Which is why judges are given the right to interpret what the law maker could have meant and with their judgment they make the decision. Any reasonable man having knowledge of this case prior writing the statue for wills would have included this situation in his statue.
Before anything when looking at law murder is a crime ! This crime is what brought question to this whole case on whether or not Elmer should inherit his grandfathers estates. Elmer went against the law , this will shouldn"t even be questioned after his crime. Statues against voiding contracts and wills are made for a reason as well to protect the testator from situations as such. No being in his her right mind would allow someone who took their life too inherit their belongings after they are the ones who took their life away. Look at it on another level if you and your friend has an agreement going on that if you were too perish he would not only inherit your position as CEO of your million dollar company, your friend kills you within the next week. After he serves his time in prison he takes up your position as CEO, along with your wealth. Would you have altered your will knowing that your friend had these intentions in mind ? Would you have wanted your friend to still be able to take up you position after you passed?
Any reasonable person wouldn"t have wanted this, why would the court even allow this, to allow this would just bring along so many other questions up to questioning law itself being as contracts and wills are said to abide by LAW itself before anything.

In the case with Gains v Gains a crime was not committed. Looking at another case of New York Mutual Life Insurace Company v Armstrong it states :
" the person who procured a policy upon the life of another, payable at his death, and then murdered the assured to make the policy payable, could not recover thereon" (4.3.5).
Elmer murdered his grandfather in order to make the will effective and become the heir to his grandfather"s estates. He should not be allowed too inherit anything. His rights as an heir should be forfeited once the crime was committed despite of what the will says in this particular case.

Elmer is not being punished by not receiving Palmers estates. It would just be immoral to let him take up of these estates after literally killing for something that wasn"t his at the time. He tried to make it his by killing which is why he shouldn"t even be able to heir them.
The point of wills are too dispose of their properties as they wish to yes I do agree on that. In most circumstances wills should be followed as it is written but once a crime is committed like in this one , things should be looked upon in a whole other perspective being as a violation of law itself has been thrown in.

I agree with you to a certain extent about wills and the statues being their to protect them but by voiding this will in particular is actually protecting Palmer who is deceased and clearly doesn"t have a voice in anything going on. His grandson his murderer should not be able to heir Palmers estates.
eddieshead

Con

Like i said in my previous argument, we have no way to know that Francis Palmer would have revoked or altered his will, even if he knew his grandson could have the potential to kill him for the inheritance. I do agree that the motivation for the killing was to receive the inheritance before time could naturally intervene, but you said no being in his right mind would allow an inheritance to go to the person who murdered them. While improbable to ever actually happen, I have the ability to think of situations where that simply is not the case. A person may have no one to leave anything to and would still rather have their property in the family name, even if murdered by the beneficiary. A person could also reasonably understand that they will die and have no say in the matter at all. There could even be situations in which an inheritance could be meant to be a punishment by the benefactor. A testator could offer his estate, to a person who had possibly done him wrong at some point in life, and it could involve handing over, for example, a home or land plagued with crippling debt, or in need of tremendous amounts of upkeep. If this were the case, your point would be supported, but the will would still pass under similar circumstances. Just as in all cases involving a last will and testament, it would be under strict scrutiny of the law.

In the case of New York Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Armstrong, the decision was held to disallow the payment of a policy. While it is a similar case, the details are inherently different. This case involved the question of a payable life insurance policy, not a last will and testament. They can be similar in some manners, but they do have differences which can be handled differently in the eyes of a court. The life insurance policy may not include a person"s last wishes. It specifically deals with money. A will may not. A will can be entirely more personal, and it is in this situation.

While a will has properties similar to a contract, They may not follow the same rules. A last will and testament does not necessarily include an agreement between two parties. It is not always the case that the inheriting party has consented to, or even knows about the inheritance they may or may not receive. This one-sidedness of a will puts it in an entirely different category than a contract. The law does not apply as in a contract, unless it is explicitly written that it should do so. If a person commits a crime in order to unfairly benefit from a contract, unconscionability comes into play. In this case, a crime was committed, a sentence was given, and the inheritance was deemed appropriate by the court, as it was not agreed upon beforehand that if a crime should happen, the will must be voided.

As for the thought that the law should prevent Elmer from inheriting due to his despicable, criminal act, the law does not have an opinion in the matter. There have been no conditions expressed that would allow the law regarding criminal acts, to step in and disallow the estate. Even though a crime was committed to expedite the inheritance, to even allow the courts to deem this important, would be allowing the courts to over ride the wishes of the testator. The deceased may not have allowed anyone else to be part of his will. His wishes may expressly exclude the involvement of the people in question. It is not enough to assume that he would have or could have done so.

The most important part of this case, is the fact that the inheritance was upheld and given to Elmer at the time of his grandfather"s death. This is still only about the issue of voiding or altering the last will and testament of Francis Palmer. Very few factors are necessary in determining the whether or not the will can be touched. Only the previously established statutes can be taken as the word of the law. As the case stands, the plaintiffs do not have sufficient cause to void or alter the will, and thus, the decision to grant Elmer Palmer the inheritance should stand.
Debate Round No. 3
S02smalls

Pro

1.August 13, 1808 Francis B. Palmer made his will, leaving his daughters Mrs.Riggs and Mrs. Preston small legacies along with leaving the remainder of his estate to Elmer E. Palmer his grandson. (1.1.1)

2. Elmer lived with the testator at the date of the will and was 16 when his grandfather died, he was aware of his inheritance after his grandfather would pass. (1.1.4-5)

3.The estates left on the behalf Palmer weren"t one hundred percent certain going to be left to his grandson Elmer.( 1.1.5)

4.Elmers Grandfather could have potentially changed the will.(5.2.1)

5.Obtaining such knowledge of his inheritance, before his grandfather could change his will, and to enjoy his possessions he murdered his grandfather by poisoning him. (.(1.1.5)
6.Poisoning his grandfather is considered murder.(1.1.6)

7. Murder should not be rewarded in any way. (4.3.2)

8.Statues are made for the testator to dispose of their property as they wished but how could have the lawmakers foreseen this.

9.If they could have foreseen this it would have been included in statues.

10.Lawmakers cannot perfectly express themselves while writing these laws, which leaves room for judges to use "rational interpretation", allowing them to interpret the drafters intention as best as he couldIt would be unreasonable to assume the intentions of law are to reward a murderer. (2.3.4)

11.By equitable reconstruction the statue can be looked upon with meaning rather than what is actually written, assuming the lawmaker was a reasonable man and could not have foreseen every detail while writing this law. (3.1.2-6)

12.If lawmakers could have foreseen this situation would they let this young man who murdered his grandfather still take up the estates left in his name?

13.It would be unreasonable to think the intentions of the law were to reward someone who cheated his inheritance by committing a crime. (4.2.1)

14.In certain circumstances we shouldn"t focus on the words used to write the law but rather the intentions behind the words.(4.2.3)

15.All laws and contracts should abide by law itself.

16.Owen vs. Owens a similar case a wife murders husband intentionally becoming a widow to inherit his estates.(6.2.1-5)

17."Volenti non fit injuria" the widow shouldn"t be able to inherit anything being as she could have died before her husband but she killed him in order to become this widower.(6.2.7)

18.Elmer should not be permitted to take up this property that he gained due to a crime.(6.1)

19.Contracts can be voided if it contains fraud, undue influence or provisions that are immoral. (4.4.2-5.3)

20.If Elmer have taken his grandfathers property by force the law wouldn"t have allowed him to keep it, by committing this crime in a sense he did that , defying the will by fraud and going against public policy. (5.2.6-9

21. Therefore Elmer should not be able to inherit the estates left to him by the grandfather he murdered. (6.2)

My argument stands I still believe that Elmer should not be able to take up any of this inheritance left to him by his grandfather Palmer due to the simple fact that he killed for it. I do understand that wills are made with statues for a reason but who could have foreseen a situation as this one. If that was the case then law makers would have added this into their statues assuming that he or she was a reasonable person of course. My opponent is focused on the will and it being the testator"s wishes and how they should be followed as written. Elmer cheated the will how are we to know he was not to die before his grandfather and not inherit or a thing or his grandfather could have changed the will. He knew all this was possible so he murdered his grandfather intentionally, if this was all an accident it would be looked upon a different way but the intent was clearly present. Not many cases like this have occurred but similar ones to it with murder involved all voided the contracts due to murder, which should be the case in this situation as well. The will should be voided for a crime has been committed going against law itself which is what wills and contracts are based on to begin with which is to abide by the law. For these reasons I believe that Elmer should not be able to heir these estates
eddieshead

Con

In August of 1880, Francis B. Palmer created his last will and testament, leaving his estate to his two daughters, Mrs. Riggs and Mrs. Preston, and to his grandson Elmer E. Palmer.

Elmer lived with his grandfather on a farm which was of considerable worth, along with the other possessions he put into the will.

Elmer knew that there was a chance his grandfather could write him out of the will, or that under certain circumstances, he may not be eligible to inherit.

His grandfather had, in fact, expressed some intent to change his will.

Elmer sought to prevent the possible change by ensuring that his grandfather would die while the current will's legality was solid.

Elmer murdered his grandfather by poisoning him, with the intent to ensure he would receive the inheritance of the last will and testament.

Elmer did indeed receive the inheritance.

The daughters of Francis Palmer brought upon the action to prevent Elmer from receiving an inheritance.

Elmer was also tried and convicted of second degree murder, and during the appeal case, was serving time in a reformatory.

His claim for the property is based on whether or not his grandfather's will can be open to interpretation.

The daughter's claim was based on the fact that Elmer could have possibly prevented the reformation of his grandfather's will.

Their claim was based on equitable considerations.

These considerations are very much governed by matters of conscience.

While conscience can be a consideration in many situations, this specific case has nothing to do with it.

The question is not whether or not it was wrong for Elmer to kill his grandfather and if he should receive an inheritance.

It is also not a question whether or not it was morally permissible for him to receive the inheritance, however unlawfully he did.

Elmer is not to be punished by the revocation of his grandfather's will.

This case has nothing to do with the crime Elmer committed.

The only question at hand in this case is whether or not a will can be altered or voided, after its testator's death.

The property of the dead testator is now subject to complete legal control and does not have the freedom to be interpreted.

A last will and testament does not work unless it is bound to strict rules regarding its creation and alteration.

These rules are the only way to truly ensure that a testator's property will be protected by law, after his/her death.

These rules must be followed to the letter to ensure this protection.

There was no specific ordinance written stating that if the testator should die in this way, the will must be altered.

That rule had not been written by the testator nor the drafter, and it is also not part of common policy.

Just because Elmer committed a criminal act, does not mean he should be punished beyond the justice served for his original act.

Elmer should receive the inheritance.

Non-controversial claims:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,18,19, not my opponents #7

I believe that, when all is said and done, Elmer Palmer should receive his inheritance. This is based on the fact that his grandfather, Francis Palmer, explicitly wrote into his will, the clauses that allow for an inheritance to passed onto his grandson. None of these clauses express any concern of the intentions of his grandson, nor do they express any willingness to alter or void the will, should certain circumstances arise. Elmer was tried and convicted of the crime of murdering his grandfather. He was punished appropriately in terms of the law, and the public does not demand any more than that.
This entire debate was about one topic, how a will can be altered or voided after the death of the testator. There is a series of statues that provides reasons and situations that allow for changes to take place. This particular case did not contain any of those statutes. Those statutes are the only way to safeguard a person's last will and testament. The law must retain complete control over the will of a deceased testator, for its full protection, as determined by its creator.
Debate Round No. 4
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